Iraqi FM: SOFA draft text ready
Speaking from Switzerland, the Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari informed there was agreement on the US-Iraqi draft of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). This security pact has been negotiate for a long time now because of Washington's insistence on "troops immunity from prosecution in Iraq and freedom to conduct operations independent of Iraqi control".
Sun, 14 Sep 2008 00:11:04 GMT
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari has said that Iraq and the US have prepared a final draft of a controversial security pact. "We have now a single text, a final draft," Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari told journalists in Geneva on Saturday, "It is up to the political leadership now to make a political decision," he said. The minister is attending a global security conference in Switzerland. Zebari said that if security continues to improve, this could see US and other foreign troops off the streets of Iraqi cities from the middle of next year and a complete withdrawal by 2011. However he stressed that there was no fixed timetable and that any decision would be "condition-led, and condition-driven". Some foreign troops would stay in Iraq for training purposes and counter-terrorism operations, he added. Zebari also stressed that Iraq objected to Washington's insistence that the security pact known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) should provide US troops immunity from prosecution in Iraq and freedom to conduct operations independent of Iraqi control. SOFA has sparked heated debate in Iraq and those who oppose it say that the deal would provide a legal basis for American troops to remain in Iraq after a United Nations mandate expires at the end of this year. MMA/HAR , Original source at PressTV