Many issues in security deal with US unresolved: Iraqi lawmaker

August 29th, 2008 - 7:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Aug 29 (DPA) Most of the issues in the long-term security agreement being negotiated between Iraq and the United States remain unresolved, an Iraqi legislator said on Friday, ruling out the likelihood that the deal would ever reach parliament for approval.Abdel Kareem al-Samarraie, a member of parliament’s Security and Defence Committee, said issues related to the continued presence of US troops and their status before a final pullout needed to be cleared up.

“Differences revolve around a schedule of the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq as well as their powers and the description of these troops,” he told the Voices of Iraq news agency.

Al-Samarraie’s comments were in stark contrast to earlier optimistic statements from Iraq’s leadership over the proposed deal that will govern the presence of US troops in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of the year.

The legislator said the Iraq-US agreement would not get parliamentary approval unless a timeframe was set for the end of foreign forces’ presence in Iraq.

Al-Samarraie, who belongs to the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front (IAF), the third largest bloc in parliament with 38 out of a total 275 seats, pointed out that Iraq’s political leaders hoped that foreign troops would be out of the country by 2011.

“Although the Iraqi delegation has insisted on that date, the Americans have some reservations over it,” he said.

Al-Maliki Monday said there had been significant progress toward an agreement. He also said foreign soldiers would no longer be in Iraq after 2011. A number of Iraqi politicians have made similar statement.

US officials have not confirmed any dates.

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