British PM Says Mission to Iraq to End May 31

BAGHDAD (AP) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown says the British
mission in Iraq will end no later than May 31, 2009.
Brown made the announcement Wednesday during a news conference
with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Baghdad. He says he
plans to provide details to the British parliament about troop
withdrawal on Thursday.
Brown also called for the release without condition of five
British hostages held since 2007.
Brown's announcement follows news that the Iraqi government
issued a resolution calling for all non-U.S. troops to withdraw by
the end of July.
Britain is the second-largest contributor to the international
military coalition in Iraq after the United States. About 4,000
British troops are now in Iraq, mostly in the country's south.

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