Monday, October 04, 2004

Poland to be Gone by End of 2005

The coalition of the coerced is shrinking:
Poland will withdraw its troops from Iraq by the end of 2005, Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said on Monday.

"In my opinion, the deadline (for Poland's mission) should be the expiry date of resolution 1546 of the UN Security Council," Szmajdzinski told the Gazeta Wyborcza daily.

Resolution 1546, passed in June, provided for the handover of power to the Iraqi authorities and includes democratic transition steps that will run through 2005.

Poland, a staunch US ally in Europe, now commands an 8,000-strong multinational force, including about 2,400 Polish soldiers,in south-central Iraq.

Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewsk, who is on a visit to France, confirmed the announcement in Paris on Monday...

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