Denmark to keep troops in Iraq: PM
Denmark has 470 soldiers in Iraq, mostly deployed in the southern city of Basra under British command.india Updated: Oct 26, 2006 11:29 IST
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that Danish troops would remain in Iraq, despite his recent call for an unspecified change of strategy in the volatile country.
"The government's point of view is that we should remain in Iraq as long as the Iraqi government wants us to," Rasmussen said on Wednesday during a question-and-answer session at the Danish parliament.
The Prime Minister added, "there is no change in the mandate of Danish soldiers" deployed in country, which expires in June, 2007.
Denmark has 470 soldiers in Iraq, mostly deployed in the southern city of Basra under British command.
The conservative Prime Minister has been criticised by centrist and leftist parties for following Washington's dictate on Iraq too easily.
But Rasmussen refused to yield to opposition pressure for specifics on his call on Tuesday for a new strategy to improve the security situation in Iraq.
"It would be an invitation to terrorists to discuss what strategy we want to follow," he said.
In separate remarks on Denmark's DR1 television channel, Rasmussen also said he had not been in contact with US President George W Bush on the issue.
Calls are also growing in Washington to change the coalition's strategy, amid mounting violence in Iraq.