Sources: US, Iraq take security pact to leaders

October 15, 2008 08:15

US and Iraqi negotiators have agreed on a draft security pact that would govern the presence of American troops in Iraq after January, Bush administration officials say, but its final approval is far from certain. The draft calls for US troops to pull out of Iraqi cities by the end of June next year and leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011, unless the Baghdad government asks them to stay. It also includes a compromise on the biggest bone of contention: legal immunity for American forces, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the evolving diplomacy on the so-called Status of Forces Agreement. The draft, reached after months of halting and often tense talks, contains elements that are expected to further aggravate an already difficult effort to get the Iraqi government and parliament on board, the officials said.

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