Friday, August 22, 2008

No deal yet to keep US troops in Iraq till 2011, admits Rice

Photo of Iraqis by Christiaan Briggs at Flickr.

Jonathan Steele in The Guardian, 22 August 2008, reports that there is No deal yet to keep US troops in Iraq till 2011.

Condoleeza Rice has admitted that American negotiators have not yet got Iraqi officials to agree to keep US troops well into the next president's first term.

The US government seeks an agreement to replace the UN mandate covering the US-led occupation.

Bush wants a pact to authorise a troop presence at least until 2011.

Iraq prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is insisting on:

1. a clear timetable for withdrawal,

2. the lifting of judicial immunity for US troops who commit abuses,

3. a veto on US military operations, including the arrest of Iraqis.

Rumsfeld with Saddam, who was reportedly trained and put into power by the CIA.

According to Jonathan steele, the pact has been downgraded into a "memorandum of understanding."

This avoids the need for the US Senate to approve it.

The Iraq parliament has to approve any pact.

The Iraqi officials want a withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraqi cities by the end of June, and for all troops to leave a year or so later.

Rice, and John McCain, wants only only "aspirational timetables."

Barack Obama has pledged to pull all combat troops out of Iraq by June 2010.


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