Iraqi parliament passes security agreement with US

November 27th, 2008 - 9:51 pm ICT by IANS  

Baghdad, Nov 27 (DPA) After months of acrimony and delays, the Iraqi parliament Thursday approved the security agreement with the United States to set the timetable for a US forces pullout from the country.Under the security agreement negotiated between Washington and Baghdad, US troops would withdraw from Iraqi cities by the end of June, 2009 and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011.

The session was marred by scenes of turmoil, with those lawmakers opposed to the deal pounding their desks and shouting “yes, yes to Iraq” and “no, no to the agreement.”

Passage of the bill by the 275-member body had been expected, given that main Shiite governing alliance with 130 seats supported the deal, along with Kurdish parties with their 53 seats. Combined, they have more than the simple majority of 138 votes needed.

In the vote, there were 35 opposing votes, including the 30 deputies of the anti-US Sadrist bloc of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Earlier, deputy speaker of parliament Khaled al-Attiyah said “the agreement will pass by the greater majority and I congratulate the Iraqi people for this great achievement.”

While passage was already certain on Wednesday, the Baghdad government decided to delay the vote by a day in order to gain more broader support in parliament beyond a simple majority.

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