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Iraq parliament delays US security pact

The parliamentary vote on the US-Iraq security pact was postponed on Wednesday. Delayed until Thursday the security pact has undergone several drafts in an attempt to keep various political factions on board and to push it through parliament with a respectable majority. The proposed deal would require US troops to withdraw from Iraq cities by the end of June and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011. It would also give Iraq jurisdiction and supervision of US Forces. However intense political wrangling continues to stall the vote.
Parliamentary MPs decided to make the pact dependent on a national referendum to be held in 2009.

The decision to hold a referendum next year could set Baghdad on a collision course with Washington as the UN mandate governing international forces in Iraq expires on December 31.

UPDATE NOVEMBER 27, 2008:
Iraq’s parliament today approved by a wide margin a security pact with the United States that lets American troops stay in Iraq for three more years.

The vote in favour of the pact was backed by the ruling coalition’s Shiite and Kurdish blocs as well as the largest Sunni Arab bloc, which had demanded concessions for supporting the deal.

The Real News will provide a full update over the coming days.

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Iraq Parliament delays US pact vote

ZAA NKWETA, TRNN: A vote on the US-Iraq security pact was delayed in Parliament on Wednesday.

MAHMOUD AL-MASHHADANI, SPEAKER OF IRAQI PARLIAMENT (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): The leaders have agreed to all points except one. The blocs informed us that they are in need of time to settle this point. Therefore we declare today that the session is adjourned till tomorrow at 10 a.m.

NKWETA: Delayed until Wednesday, the security pact has undergone several drafts in an attempt to keep various political factions on board and to push it through Parliament with a respectable majority.

NAUZAD SALIH, KURDISH BLOC (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): The Americans have agreed to all our demands of amendments and measures on the agreement. They (American officials) have nearly met all our demands—I cannot say one hundred percent, but most of our demands have been met; nothing remains to ask for. So we have to ratify the pact.

NKWETA: The proposed deal would require US troops to withdraw from Iraq’s cities by the end of the June and from the rest of the country by the end of 2011. It’ll also give Iraq jurisdiction and supervision of US Forces. However, intense political wrangling continues to stall the vote.

SALIM AL-JABOURI, IRAQI NATIONAL ACCORDANCE FRONT/SUNNI BLOC (SUBTITLED TRANSLATION): We cannot adopt the security agreement even if it is approved by a simple majority, because such approval will lead to a people’s division and political schism. It is impossible to adopt an agreement between two teams, one rejecting the pact and another supportive.

NKWETA: Parliamentary MPs decided to make the pact dependent on a national referendum to be held in 2009. The decision to hold a referendum next year could set Baghdad on a collision course with Washington as the UN mandate governing international forces in Iraq expires on December 31.

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