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Poll proposed for Iraq-US pact
by Al Jazeera (reposted)
Tuesday Nov 4th, 2008 7:11 AM
Tuesday, November 4, 2008 : Iraqi vice-president says deal governing US troop presence should be put to public.

One of Iraq's vice-president's has said a draft security pact being negotiated with the United States should be put to a nationwide referendum.

Tareq al-Hashemi, a Sunni Arab, said in a statement on Tuesday that the deal, which outlines the framework for the US military presence in Iraq, "must not pass without approval from Iraqis".

"This agreement is an important and sensitive subject ... Iraqis should have their say," he said.

A draft of the deal agreed last month allows US forces to remain in Iraq for another three years, but after talks with Iraqi MPs it was sent back to Washington for further revisions. 

The Iraqi cabinet sought key changes, including greater legal jurisdiction over US troops and guarantees that US soldiers would not launch attacks on other countries from Iraq.

A reply to the proposed amendments is expected to come within days of the result of the US presidential election.

'Positive indications'

Sami al-Askari, an MP in the ruling Shia United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), said on Tuesday that the Iraqi negotiators "received positive indications from the Americans regarding the changes proposed in the Sofa [Status of Forces Agreement]."

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