BAGHDAD (AP) Iraq’s parliament has approved by a wide margin a security pact with the United States that lets American troops stay in Iraq for three more years.
The vote in favor of the pact was backed by the ruling coalition’s Shiite and Kurdish blocs as well as the largest Sunni Arab bloc, which had demanded concessions for supporting the deal.
Parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said an “overwhelming majority” of the lawmakers who attended the session, 220 out of 275, voted in favor of the pact.
Under the deal, U.S. forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30 and the entire country by Jan. 1, 2012. Iraq will have strict oversight over U.S. forces. The deal must be ratified by the Presidential Council, whose approval is expected.