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Out of Iraq by 2011

A timetable for troop withdrawals is one of the most controversial political debates in the United States. Not so in Iraq. Twenty-seven of 28 Iraqi cabinet ministers voted yesterday in favor of a security agreement that calls for a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011. The measure also puts new restrictions on U.S. troops starting January 1 and requires the American military to pull back from urban areas by June 30. The White House welcomed the measure, which it hashed out in negotiations, as "an important and positive step." Some Sunnis are worried about the withdrawal of U.S. troops, as it will leave them at the mercy of the Shiite majority, but the Iraqi ministers expect the measure to pass when it goes to vote in the Iraqi parliament.