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Premier’s proposal to withdraw troops from Iraq rejected by Romanian highest defence body

Romania’s Supreme Council for Defence rejected on June 30 Premier Tăriceanu’s proposal to withdraw Romanian troops from Iraq in November or December when they were due to be rotated. On June 29, Tăriceanu cited security concerns and the operation’s cost for the withdrawal.

The premier’s proposal took many by surprise, among others his Liberal Party collegue Mihai Razvan Ungureanu, Romania’s Foreign Minister. Ungureanu said Romania needed to have a predictable foreign policy and Romanian troop presence in Iraq was a firm international commitment.

President Basescu called Tariceanu's proposal "unacceptable" and added that it would most likely cause "grave prejudice to Romania's credibility abroad."

The U.S. State Department said on June 29 it would seek clarification from Romania about the premier's announcement. The British Embassy in Bucharest said it was "seeking urgent clarification" because it had not been forewarned of the proposal.