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Iraq Displeased with US Reply on Security Pact - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Baghdad, Asharq Al-Awsat – Iraq on yesterday expressed its dissatisfaction with the US reply to amendments of the security agreement that will regulate the future of US forces in Iraq, according to an Iraqi government spokesperson. Ali al-Dabbagh said that the US reply to the amendments “is not satisfactory” and that “Iraqis are not going to accept” it.

Al-Dabbagh told Asharq Al-Awsat, “The US reply to the Iraqi amendments is not satisfactory and there are many points that still need clarification and amendment.”

Al-Dabbagh added that it is therefore unlikely that the Iraqi parliament will discuss the reply in its next session.

Iraq last Thursday received Washington’s reply on amendments it made to the agreement.

The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) will govern the future of US troops in Iraq after the UN mandate expires at the end of 2008.

Asharq Al-Awsat previously reported that the US had agreed to three out of the five amendments that Iraq made to the agreement.

Although both parties had agreed in mid-October that the last draft was final, last week the Iraqi government had handed the US embassy in Baghdad an amended draft.

Among the disputed points in the agreement is the immunity of the US troops in Iraq. Iraq said that US troops who commit crimes off duty should be judged according to Iraqi law, as against the US position that they would be tried by US justice authorities.

Baghdad also aims to seal an agreement with Britain to decide on the future of the 4,100 British troops stationed in Iraq.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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