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The Real News Network:

July 14, 2008
1:00 PM

CONTACT: The Real News Network
Kimberlee Nancekivell, 416-916-5202

Iraq Wants Troop Withdrawal Deadline
Baghdad insists a full timetable for US troop withdrawal must be part of any security pact deal.
WASHINGTON - July 14 - Both the US and Iraqi governments agree that the US will withdraw its troops from Iraq, but there is no agreement as to when it will happen. The Iraqi government is demanding a definite deadline for US troop withdrawals and "waiting impatiently for the day when the last foreign soldier leaves Iraq," as stated by the country's national security advisor Muwaffaq al Rubaie.

To further emphasize Iraq's position on US military presence beyond 2008, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki said Iraq not only preferred a Memorandum of Understanding over the more formal Status of Forces agreement, but that they would not accept any deal unless it contained a timetable for a full withdrawal of foreign troops. Iraq's refusal to sign the security pact is fuelled by concern that it will legitimize the US occupation of Iraq and turn the country into a US dependent.

The Bush administration did make one concession in negotiations earlier this month when they agreed to end the immunity from prosecution under Iraqi law enjoyed by US private security, but they oppose any withdrawal timetable.

Watch the full story on The Real News Network


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