Mubarak warns abrupt US pullout would worsen Iraq problem

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CAIRO: A sudden pullout of US troops from Iraq would aggravate the situation there, President Hosni Mubarak said in remarks published on Saturday.

A sudden [US] withdrawal, before having implanted the factors that will achieve stability and security and end the violence, would cause a dangerous worsening of the situation in Iraq, he said in comments to the government weekly Akhbar Al-Youm.

Washington is under growing domestic pressure to pull out its troops, and thousands of people were expected to converge on the centre of the US capital on Saturday and march on the Pentagon in protest against the Iraq war.

More than 3,200 US troops and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have been killed since the March invasion four years ago, and recent polls show that most Americans now want the government to set a timetable for a withdrawal.

Egypt is holding contacts with the international community with the aim of ending the communal schism [between Shia and Sunnis] among the Iraqi people, Mubarak added.

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