David Cameron talking about Iraq


Listen to David Cameron, former British prime minister, talking about the situation in Irak in December 2006.

British English | mp3




I think, if you look at the Irak Study Group, it's talking about a timetable of 2008. I'm not particularly wedded to a timetable. I think we should be making the moves as and when appropriate.

When the Iraqi army is trained to the right level, when the Iraqi authorities are ready to take more control, then we should (1) hand over that control and we should (2) pull our forces back.

It may be possible to do some of that in advance of 2008 so I don't think we should get too wedded to a timetable. If I was the British Prime Minister, I would be asking what more can the Iraqi army do, what more can we help to (3) build it up, and what more can we (1) hand over to the elected Iraqi authorities.

I was in Bagdad and Basra recently and I think the Iraqi government does want to do more, they have an ambition to do more and I think, actually, really getting to grips with some of the sectarian fighting in Iraq is going to take the intervention of the Iraqi government and a coming together at the centre of Iraq of Sunni, Shia and Kurd with a determination to stop the sectarian killings.

Cause in the end it's not British and American forces that will stop the Sunni and the Shia militias. It's going to need to be an Iraqi led solution and that, I think, is the most important thing that needs to happen.



Phrasal verbs

(1) hand over: transfer the control to the Iraqi authorities

(2) pull back: not be so involved in the fighting and let the Iraqi army do the job

(3) build it up: make it stronger