BAGHDAD (Reuters) - The Iraqi government is confident that president-elect Barack Obama will not jeopardize Iraq's improving security by hastily withdrawing U.S. troops, Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said on Wednesday.
Obama has "reassured us that he would not take any drastic or dramatic decisions," Zebari told BBC television.
"He will consult with the Iraqi government and the U.S. military in the field, but believes strongly that a phased withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq will put more responsibility on the shoulders of the Iraqi government."
We last heard from and about Mr. Zebari when the controversy before the house was whether Obama had been interfering with negotiations between the Bush Administration and the Iraqis on the Status of Forces Agreement. For nostalgia buffs, here is some classic NY Times election-style coverage of same.
More from Zebari:
In another interview Zebari said he believed Obama would take conditions on the ground into account before any withdrawal.
"When there is a reality check, I think any U.S. president has to look very hard at the facts on the ground," he told Al-Jazeera television. "The gains that we have attained and won with hard struggle and a great deal of sacrifice need to be sustained."
We can only hope.