Iraq doesn't see Obama abandoning it as still "a great deal is at stake"

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Baghdad, Nov 6 : Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari has said that US President-elect Barack Obama won't stick to his stance of withdrawing US troops within 16 months of taking over the White House, as promised during the election campaign.

"There won't be quick disengagement here. A great deal is at stake," the Daily Times quoted Zebari as telling a foreign news agency.

He said that Baghdad would respect the will of the American voters and that it was looking for a successful partnership with Obama.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari and US ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker said the election of Obama would not affect the proposed security deal between Washington and Baghdad.

However, the movement of Iraq's anti-American cleric Moqtada al-Sadr has welcomed Obama's victory, saying he would fulfill his poll promise. "We consider his victory as a wish of the American public to withdraw forces from Iraq. This is what we are looking for," said Sheikh Saleh Al Obeidi, Sadr's spokesman in the holy city of Najaf.

Sadr has been the strongest opponent of American forces in Iraq and launched two rebellions in 2004 against them in Najaf.

ANI

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