Initial agreement reached on withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq

This is from Monsters and Critics.
In the debates between McCain and Obama it seems to be assumed that it is the U.S. that decides when it will withdraw not the Iraqis! This status of forces agreement does not get very much press in the U.S. It remains to be seen whether the draft mentioned in the article will pass must in the Iraqi parliament Nothing is said about the status of contractors with respect to Iraqi law or the status of U.S. troops either. The agreement probably refers only to combat troops not support troops.

From Monsters and
Middle East NewsInitial agreement reached on withdrawal of US troops from IraqBy DPAAug 4, 2008, 9:04 GMT
Cairo - Iraqi and US teams negotiating a controversial security pact have reached an initial agreement that states that US troops will withdraw from Iraq between 2010 and 2011, the pro- government Iraqi Al-Sabah newspaper reported Monday.
The newspaper reported that 'the Iraqi and American technical teams have already reported the outcome of their negotiations to their political leaders during the past days.'
The paper also reported that ongoing negotiations between both parties is nearing an end, allowing the signing of a 'memorandum of understanding' very soon.
The paper quoted anonymous Iraqi sources as saying that 'there is a great development in the talks and we reached an initial bilateral agreement for the pullout of US troops by 2010 and 2011.'
The US and Iraq have been negotiating the security pact, also called the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), since March.
The long term agreement would lay down the legal basis for a continued US military presence in Iraq after a UN mandate expires in December.
However, after months of disputes and criticism, the United States and Iraq are working on a short-term 'memorandum of understanding' instead.
Several Iraqi politicians and lawmakers are against the mandate, saying it will violate the country's sovereignty.
The most vocal of critics is radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al- Sadr, who strongly opposes the US presence in Iraq. He called on Iraqis to unite and stand up against the accord by all means possible.
Iran also opposes any deal between Baghdad and Washington which extends the presence of US troops in the neighbouring country.
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