INGTON: - An expected U.S.-Iraq long-term strategic agreement will not spell out a specific date for a withdrawal of American troops, White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Monday.
"What it will not do is have any sort date tied to combat troops, like how many American troops would be in Iraq at X date. That would not be included," Perino told reporters.
"I don't know exactly how it's going to read, but it would not include anything about troop levels," the spokeswoman said, adding that "this commander in chief is not going to tie the hands of the next commander in chief, whoever it is."
Prior to her latest remarks about U.S.-Iraq long-term strategic deal, Ms. Perino said that U.S. President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki discussed in their video conference last Thursday "a general time horizon" for Iraq security transfer.
The two leaders agreed that the goals would be based on continued improving conditions on the ground and not an arbitrary date for withdrawal, she said in a statement.
Washington and Baghdad have been doing negotiations over a long-term American military presence for months.
Despite Iraqi demand, the Bush administration has refused to give a timetable for the overall military withdrawal of U.S.-led forces from Iraq.