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Iraq's al-Maliki Wants Short-Term US Agreement - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD, (AP) – Iraq’s prime minister says he is discussing a short-term memorandum of understanding with U.S. officials instead of trying to hammer through a formal agreement on the presence of American forces in the country.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says his government proposed the memorandum after widespread opposition to U.S. demands made in talks on a formal Status of Forces Agreement. The agreement would keep U.S. troops in Iraq after a U.N. mandate expires at year’s end.

Al-Maliki says the proposed memorandum includes a formula for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

President Bush has said he opposes the idea of a specific timetable.

Al-Maliki’s comments Monday came in a meeting with several Arab ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates in that country’s capital, Abu Dhabi.

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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