Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement today after meeting with the Iraqi Minister of Defense, Abd al-Qadir:

    “I appreciate the opportunity to meet with Iraqi Defense Minister Abd al-Qadir to hear his perspective on the military requirements to establish a stable and secure Iraq.  Minister Abd al-Qadir expressed optimism that the Iraqi government would be able to protect its own internal security by the first quarter of 2009.  I am encouraged that the Minister believes that Iraq will be able to meet this important goal by next year, which would be good news for U.S. service members as well as for the Iraqi people.”