Oct 31 2008

Bush and al-Maliki Negotiate Troop Agreement

Feature Stories | Published 31 Oct 2008, 10:15 am | Comments Off on Bush and al-Maliki Negotiate Troop Agreement -

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As the presidential election is commanding most people’s political attentions, representatives of President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki continue to negotiate a so-called troop agreement. With a December 31st, 2008 expiration date looming for the current United Nations mandate on the U.S. led occupation, the Iraqi government has requested a number of amendments to the original text of the bilateral agreement. Among the changes the Iraqis would like to see on the so-called Status of Forces Agreement are the banning of the US from using Iraq as a base for attacking neighboring countries, inspections on U.S. arms shipments, and the removal of language that would allow for troops to stay beyond the agreed upon date of December 31st 2011. President Bush expressed confidence that the two sides would eventually come to an agreement, although a spokesperson for the US State Department said that “the bar to any revisions is very high.” Should there be an agreement on SOFA, it still remains highly unlikely that a skeptical Iraqi parliament would approve it.

GUEST: Raed Jarrar, Iraqi Consultant for the American Friends Service

Read Raed Jarrar’s blog at: raedinthemiddle.blogspot.com

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