“We believe some provinces are safe… We can withdraw foreign troops from these cities… which can then encourage an overall timetable,” the prime minister said.
However, Mr Jaafari tempered his comments, saying Iraq is still working towards taking over command of security operations.
“There is a plan and a threshold that the security forces, whether interior or defence, have to meet in terms of the growth in their capabilities.”
Appearing at a joint conference with the Iraqi PM, visiting US Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick repeated assurances that American troops will stay on until Iraqi forces are ready.
Mr Zoellick also encouraged the Iraqi government to focus on the task of completing a draft constitution by the August 15 deadline.
In Washington, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld played down speculation that US and British officials have drawn up plans for reducing their troops in Iraq from next year.
He said that while it was “responsible and plausible” for planners to examine downsizing the military commitment to Iraq, “recommendations have not been made by the battlefield commanders, they’ve not been made to me, I’ve not made those recommendations, I’ve not discussed it with Dick Myers, we’ve not discussed it with the president (George W Bush).”
Mr Rumsfeld’s comments follow the publication by Britains’ Mail on Sunday of a leaked document by British Defence Secretary John Reid which reportedly suggested Washington hoped to cut US-led troop levels from 176,000 to 66,000 by early 2006.
In a sign of growing confidence, Iraqi authorities have announced the easing of the curfew in Baghdad and its suburbs by one hour.
Residents, who since November have been kept indoors during the hours from 11pm to 5am (local time), will now be able to move around in the capital until midnight.
Fewer car bombings have been reported in the city since the start of a massive security operation involving more than 40,000 Iraqi police and soldiers in May.
However, Prime Minister Jaafari has warned against complacency, saying the country must brace for even larger attacks as Iraq rebuilds.
“The killing of the late Ihab al-Sherif (Egypt’s top envoy to Iraq) was nothing but an expression of the success of the political process.” Mr Jaafari said.
“So we must prepare ourselves that every time we make progress in the process and every time we make big achievements, the reaction will be big.”