White House spokesman Jay Carney on Tuesday denied that U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta had approved a plan to reduce the amount of U.S. troops in Iraq to about 3,000 by the end of the year.

Fox News reported that Panetta had already signed off on the decision to withdraw most of the 45,000 U.S. troops currently stationed in Iraq.

Carney denied the report, and said the troop pullout depended on ongoing negotiations with the Iraqi government.

"We have said in the past that if the Iraqi government makes a request of us, we certainly will consider it," he said. "That request has not been made. No decisions have been made."

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