Romanian President Traian Basescu announced August 30 that the country is about to reduce its military participation to the international coalition in Iraq after the Iraqi army said they were ready to take control over a region of the country where a Romanian battalion is present.

The news comes several days after the head of state said the Supreme Defense Council in Bucharest opted that Romania should not send troops to Lebanon, as the UN has called.

Basescu said a partial withdrawal from Iraq couldn’t be done just like that as Romania should plan it in partnership with other NATO members.

Basescu had previously said Romania would not withdraw from Iraq before the Iraqi authorities would no longer need the country’s help and ask for a withdrawal. Before that, Basescu had opposed a request by the Liberal Party, a senior member of the governing coalition in Bucharest, that Romania withdraw from Iraq for good.

In late August, the Supreme Defense Council decided Romania should not join the international peace for in Lebanon for the time being as Romania was already involved in military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Balkans.