US: Ameican troops in Iraq will need immunity

August 2, 2011 14:02

BAGHDAD - Any agreement for US troops to stay in Iraq beyond a year-end deadline for their withdrawal would require the Iraqi parliament to agree to grant American soldiers legal immunity, the top US military officer said on Tuesday.

Immunity for American troops staying on in Iraq could complicate the already difficult wrangling for Iraq's fragile, multi-sectarian government, whose leaders are under pressure to decide whether some US soldiers should stay in the country.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki says Iraq may need only trainers rather than US troops, allowing him to bypass fractious negotiations with parliament. But US officials say any training deal would likely involve American troops and require a lawmaker agreement on immunity.

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