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Iraq: US pact changes not enough
Tuesday, November 11, 2008 : Government spokesman says Washington should offer new amendments to security pact.
Iraq's government spokesman has said the United States' offers of changes to a draft security agreement are "not enough" and asked Washington to offer new amendments if it wants the pact to win parliamentary approval.
The comments on Monday by Ali al-Dabbagh were the first by the Iraqis since the US submitted a response last week to an Iraqi request for changes in the draft agreement.
The agreement would keep US troops In Iraq until 2012 and give Iraq a greater role in the management of the US mission.
Al-Dabbagh said his remarks constituted the government response but it had not been officially conveyed to the Americans.
There was no immediate comment from US officials, who had described the latest draft submitted to the Iraqis as a "final text".
Privately, however, some US officials have said they expect protracted haggling over the agreement, with the Iraqis pressing for more concessions until the last minute.
"The American answer is not enough for the government to accept it in its current form," al-Dabbagh told the Associated Press news agency.
"There are still some points in which we have not reached a bilateral understanding."
Al-Dabbagh said the government was inviting the US "to give answers that are suitable to the Iraqis".Read More