US presence in Iraq OK'd til end of 2011

Discussion in 'Iraq' started by tigerbob, Nov 16, 2008.

  1. tigerbob
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    tigerbob Increasingly jaded.

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    NEW YORK TIMES
    By CAMPBELL ROBERTSON
    Published: November 16, 2008

    BAGHDAD — The Iraqi cabinet voted overwhelmingly Sunday to approve the security agreement that sets the conditions for the Americans' continued presence in Iraq from Jan. 1 until the end of 2011.

    All but one of the 28 cabinet ministers who attended the two-and-a-half-hour session voted for the agreement and sent it to Parliament for consideration, a huge relief to the United States, which had been in intense negotiations with the Iraqis for nearly a year.

    The United Nations Security Council resolution that allows U.S. troops to operate in Iraq expires Dec. 31, and, without an extension of the resolution or a separate agreement with the Iraqis like that approved by the cabinet on Sunday, forces of the U.S.-led coalition would have no legal mandate to operate.

    “This is the best available alternative,” the Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said shortly after the vote. “We have always said this is not a perfect solution for the Iraqi side and it is not a perfect solution for the American side. But it is a procedure which was forced by circumstances and necessity.

    “This is the time after the progress in the security situation to transfer the security file to the Iraqi side, step by step.”

    The decision of the 37-member cabinet, essentially a microcosm of the Parliament, is expected to be a good indicator of whether the agreement will pass. The assembly has not yet announced the date of its vote, but it is scheduled to go into recess on Nov. 24.

    The draft approved Sunday requires coalition forces to withdraw from Iraqi cities and towns by the summer of 2009 and from the country by the end of 2011. An earlier version had language giving some flexibility to that deadline, with both sides discussing timetables and timelines for withdrawal, but the Iraqis managed to have the deadline set in stone, a significant negotiating victory. The United States has around 150,000 troops in Iraq.



    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/17/world/middleeast/17iraq.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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