Iraqi PM: immunity remains sticking point in security pact 2008-10-10 22:47:02   Print

    BAGHDAD, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki Friday said that the United States had made concessions in the negotiation of a bilateral security treaty, but the immunity for American troops and civilians in Iraq remains unsolved.

    Maliki made the remarks after meeting with Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in the holy city of Najaf, according to the official Iraqia television station.

    The prime minister said there are some good points in the agreement, including a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and the lift of UN sanctions.

    He said the two sides had agreed that the U.S. troops will withdraw from cities by the end of next June, and leave Iraq by Dec. 31, 2011.

    Iraq and the United States failed to reach the agreement before a planned deadline of July 31 this year.

    The document will grant the U.S. troops legal status to stay in Iraq after the UN mandate expires at the end of this year.

    Maliki is facing mounting pressure at home to uphold national sovereignty and interest. That agreement must be sent to the Iraqi parliament for approval.

    He also said Sistani will not oppose the agreement if it is endorsed by the government and the parliament.

Editor: Yan
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