Agreement in principle
Negotiators have finalised a deal which will see the complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by 2011, ending an eight-year occupation, the top Iraqi heading the team said today.
Under the 27-point deal all US combat troops will be withdrawn from Iraqi cities by next June, said negotiator Mohammed al-Haj Hammoud.The agreement has already been approved by US President George W Bush and now needs to be endorsed by Iraqi leaders, he added.
Baghdad and Washington had agreed to "withdraw the US troops from Iraq by end of 2011", said Mr Hammoud. "The combat troops will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 2009. Both the parties have agreed on this," he added. "The negotiators' job is done. Now it is up to the leaders."
The security pact will decide the future of US forces in Iraq once the present UN mandate, which provides the legal framework for the presence of foreign forces in Iraq, expires in December.
Mr Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had agreed last November to formalise such an agreement by July 31.