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  Saturday, October 19, 2019
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Vladimir Putin will discuss the situation in Iraq with during a meeting Monday
Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the situation in Iraq and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi during a meeting Monday, a Kremlin source said. "Vladimir Putin will probably ask Silvio Berlusconi about the situation in Iraq, and, most importantly, about its future development," the source said, adding that Russia had "major economic interests" in the country. The source said that Russia also wanted to know Berlusconi's thoughts about when foreign troops, including Italian soldiers, would be pulled out of Iraq. He said Russia was not pushing for an immediate withdraw, or even in the next couple of years, but did think it correct to set a deadline. He added that Western countries had pushed Moscow to set a deadline for withdrawing its troops from Georgia and Moldavia. According to the source, Russia believes the withdrawal could begin either after Iraq adopts a constitution, or institutions of state power are established in the country. But he added waiting until democracy had become firmly established in the country was not credible. The source said a deadline for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan had been set in line with a UN Security Council resolution. "Everything started in Iraq with the search for chemical weapons, but ended up with guaranteeing internal security issue," the source said, before adding that Iraq had become a source of terrorism
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