Milestone province transferred to Iraqis

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A province in southern Iraq has been transferred to the control of the Iraqi authorities today.

Defence secretary Des Browne has described the transferral of power for Maysaan province as a "milestone" on the road to Iraq's self-reliance.

Speaking at a conference at Maysaan's Camp Sparrowhawk, Major General Shaw praised the Maysaan governor and the citizens of Maysaan for achieving the transfer.

"This is a moment for optimism. I am optimistic because I know that the Iraqi security forces continue to grow in confidence and capability," said Major General Shaw.

"I am optimistic because the support of MNF [multi-national forces] will continue to facilitate the people of Iraq along the road to self-reliance.

"And I am optimistic because the examples of Al Muthanna, Dhi Qar, Najaf and now Maysaan will demonstrate to the rest of Iraq what can be achieved, a testament of what is possible when the people of Iraq work together."

MNF will continue to train and mentor Iraqi security forces and patrol Maysaan's border with Iran.

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