BAGHDAD (AFP) – The draft security deal between Washington and Baghdad on the future of US forces in Iraq is to be submitted to parliament within 10 days, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was quoted as saying on Tuesday.
“SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) will be sent to parliament within 10 days,” he said in Badr newspaper, run by the Supreme Iraqi Islamic Council, a key Shiite political party which is a close ally of Maliki.
“The government is waiting for an answer from the United States on the Iraqi suggestion to keep the sovereignty of Iraq and the interests of its people. The members of parliament will accept or reject the agreement,” Maliki said.
The paper also quoted parliament speaker Mahmud Mashhadani as saying the two sides differed on seven issues, although he did not reveal them. “These issues need to be amended for a positive result that benefits the country,” he said.
On Monday, a copy of the agreement was published by Al-Iraq newspaper which said the issue of immunity for American troops was the main sticking point in the 27-point deal.
According to the Arabic-language text, Iraq has proposed that “the United States have jurisdiction over its civilians and soldiers inside their bases and in areas used by them exclusively.”
The Iraqi proposal also provides for US jurisdiction over its citizens both civilian and military when they are on assignment “unless they commit grave and deliberate mistakes.”
But the American side has been demanding “jurisdiction everywhere over their citizens, both civilians and military who work for the armed forces,” it said.