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Poland Tells Rice It Will Cut Iraqi Troop Strength - 2005-02-05


Poland's foreign minister has told his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, that Warsaw plans to cut its troop strength in Iraq by about one-third.

Foreign Minister Adam Rotfeld made the announcement Saturday at a joint news conference with Ms. Rice in Warsaw. He said Poland, a key U.S. ally, will bring 800 of its 2,500 troops in Iraq home after the recent elections that he said have fundamentally changed the outlook for Iraq.

For her part, Ms. Rice thanked Poland for its contribution to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq.

Secretary Rice travels later in the day to Ankara, Turkey, for talks focusing on neighboring Iraq. She also will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to prepare for talks between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin later this month in Slovakia.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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