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Archive for Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Al-Maliki says pact in US, Iraqi interest

September 30, 2008

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— Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Monday that the government is ready to compromise to reach a security accord with the United States because Iraq still needs American troops despite the drop in violence.

In an interview with The Associated Press, al-Maliki said neither he nor Iraq's parliament will accept any pact that fails to serve the country's national interests. A poorly constructed plan would provoke so much discord in Iraq that it could threaten his government's survival, he said.

Al-Maliki said, however, that he is firmly committed to reaching an accord that would allow U.S. troops to remain in the country beyond next year.

Supporters of anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr oppose the accord, arguing U.S. forces should leave Iraq as soon as possible. Neighboring Iran also has been speaking out vociferously against a long-term U.S. presence in Iraq.

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