Polish opposition would seek quick Iraq exit

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WARSAW, Oct 19 (Reuters) Poland's main opposition party would seek to quickly bring Polish troops back from Iraq if it wins Sunday's parliamentary election, the Civic Platform's leader said today.

The party, just ahead of the ruling conservatives in opinion polls, has long questioned the presence of troops in Iraq as part of the US-led force, but has not been so clear that it would make withdrawal a priority.

''We will quickly fulfil our mission in Iraq,'' said Donald Tusk, listing 10 priorities if the party wins.

Poland's ruling Kaczynski twins, close allies of Washington, have said that withdrawal from Iraq would amount to desertion.

Iraq has not been central to the election campaign debate in the EU member of 38 million, but the Iraqi engagement gained in importance after recent insurgent attacks that targeted the Polish ambassador and troops.

Poland has 900 soldiers in Iraq.

On Sunday, Reuters obtained a copy of a video in which two previously unknown Shi'ite groups claimed responsibility for attacks and warned Polish troops to leave Iraq ''before you drown in its swamp''.

REUTERS ARB BD1613

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