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U.S. Troops In Iraq Until 2012
by NPR (reposted)
Monday Nov 17th, 2008 7:20 AM
Monday, November 17, 2008 : Iraq's parliament could vote as early as this week on a security pact with the United States that would allow American forces to remain for three more years. The Iraqi Cabinet overwhelmingly approved the deal Sunday.
Listen Online
by IOL (reposted)
Monday Nov 17th, 2008 7:32 AM
BAGHDAD — The Iraqi government voted on Sunday, November 16, to approve a wide-ranging military agreement that governs the presence of US troops in the country until 2011, despite fierce opposition from some Shiite and Sunni forces.

"The cabinet has just unanimously approved a deal between Iraq and the US for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh told a press conference in Baghdad.

The cabinet approved the agreement after a two-and-a-half-hour meeting, with 27 ministers voting for it, one abstaining and 10 skipping the meeting.

Dabbagh said US forces would hand over their bases to Iraq in 2009 and would lose the authority to raid homes without an order from an Iraqi judge and permission from the government.

The US and Iraq have been scrambling for months to reach an agreement that will govern the status of more than 150,000 US soldiers stationed in some 400 bases across the country after their UN mandate expires on December 31.

It took nearly 11 months of tense and detailed negotiations before both were comfortable with the final draft.