- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
U.S., Iraq to set timetables over troops presence
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 1731 days ago | Thursday, 21st August , 2008 , 18:45 [pm] | International
|.|| Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Thursday agreed that the two countries would set timetables for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
In a joint news conference with her Iraqi
Visiting U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari on Thursday agreed that the two countries would set timetables for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
In a joint news conference with her Iraqi counterpart, Rice said that number and role of the U.S. troops in Iraq are based on conditions on the ground and “we have agreed that some goals, some aspirational timetables for how that might unfold, are well worth having in such an agreement.”
For his part, Zebari said “the agreement decides the provisions that would arrange the temporal presence and the timetable for the U.S. troops mission.”
“So we are talking about a timetable and this refers to the confidence in the Iraqi forces because they are taking more security responsibilities and in fighting terrorism,” Zebari said.
He said that the two sides are “very close” to sign the agreement, while adding “I will not be able to give specific dates.”
Rice also said “the Iraqi government still have to revise the deal and we are waiting for them and will wait for the decision of the (Iraqi) parliament.”
Earlier in the day, Rice arrived in Baghdad in a surprise visit and met with Iraqi leaders, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The two countries were involved in negotiations since March but have failed to meet their July 31 deadline of the security deal which will set a framework for the U.S. troops’ presence in Iraq after 2008.
Earlier, the U.S. embassy in Baghdad clarified that the United States and Iraq are working on two kinds of agreements, one is the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) and the other is Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA).
The SOFA agreement deals with the U.S. troop levels, the permission for the U.S. military to operate after a UN mandate expires at the end of the year as well as the measure of immunity from Iraqi law to U.S. soldiers in Iraq.xinhua, Voice of a Nation