Arroyo reassures forces in Iraq

The President of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, has said that her country's armed forces will be withdrawn from Iraq if it gets too dangerous.

The Philippines, a close ally of the United States, sent a small contingent of less than 200 soldiers, policemen and doctors to Iraq, in return for American help against armed groups regarded as terrorists in the Philippines.

But the increasing number of casualties among the occupying forces in Iraq has caused alarm in Manila.

In a written statement, President Gloria Arroyo said her government would ensure that Filipinos in Iraq would be kept out of harm's way and would be evacuated immediately if that was called for.

The BBC's correspondent in Manila, John McLean, says this does not mean the contingent will be withdrawn at once, but it does show a crack in the resolve of US allies in the face of persistent armed resistance to the occupation of Iraq.

18/11/2003

Bron : BBC World News

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