Iraqi Cabinet seeks US ‘compromise’ on security agreement

October 30th, 2008 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Oct 30 (DPA) Iraq will sign a long-term security agreement with the US only if the latter agrees to compromise on Iraqi-proposed amendments, the semi-official al-Sabah newspaper said Thursday.The Iraqi government had handed the US embassy in Baghdad an amended draft Tuesday, although both parties had agreed in mid-October that the last draft was final.

The changes proposed by the cabinet would clarify under what circumstances US troops would be answerable to Iraqi law.

“The ball now is in the Americans’ court. If they want an agreement, they will have to agree to draft amendments,” an Iraqi official told the newspaper. The US government has said it is reluctant to make any changes to the draft.

The Iraqi cabinet also wants clarity on differences between the English and Arabic texts of the agreement. One version calls for US troops to “respect” Iraqi law while the other calls for them to “adhere to” Iraqi law.

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) would extend the mandate of US forces in Iraq beyond the end of this year, when the UN authorization runs out.

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