International forces must not abandon Iraq while the situation there is still volatile, even though Iraqi forces are assuming a greater role in securing the country, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said Monday.
"I do believe there is no option for the international community to cut and run," Saleh told reporters after meeting Prime Minister Tony Blair.
He said Iraqi forces will be in control of seven or eight of Iraq's 18 provinces by the end of the year.
"We understand that this cannot be an open-ended commitment by the international community," Saleh said, but added: "For some time to come we will need the support of the international community."
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