Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Smith tells US alliance will stay close despite withdrawal

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Stephen Smith has assured the US the Government's commitment to their alliance remains strong, despite withdrawing from Iraq.

Mr Smith reaffirmed Australia's plan to withdraw its combat troops from Iraq in the first half of this year.

But he promised US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, during a meeting in Washington, that Australia would work to minimise disruption from the pull-out, offering to consider stepping up civilian aid and expertise......

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