PM: Iraq wants short-term MoU with the USA
Iraq has proposed a short-term memorandum of understanding with the United States rather than trying to hammer through a formal agreement on the presence of U.S. forces, the Iraqi prime minister said Monday. The Iraqi government proposed the memorandum after widespread Iraqi opposition to American demands emerged during talks on a more formal Status of Forces Agreement.
The proposed memorandum includes a formula for the pullout of American forces from Iraq, al-Maliki told several Arab ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates during a meeting Monday. "The goal is to end the presence" of foreign troops, said al-Maliki, according to the AP. "The negotiations are still continuing with the American side, but in any case the basis for the agreement will be respect for the sovereignty of Iraq," he added.
The Iraqi leader provided no details on the formula. But his national security adviser, Mouwaffak al-Rubaie, told The Associated Press on Sunday that the government was proposing a timetable that would be conditioned on the ability of Iraqi forces to provide security. President Bush opposes a timetable for troop withdrawal.