Rice in Iraq, says security accord not imminent
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has arrived in Baghdad for discussions with Iraqi leaders. According to the AP, Rice on Thursday will press Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other top Iraqi officials to finalize remaining differences in a U.S.-Iraq security deal that envisions the withdrawal of American troops.
She conveyed negotiators had made significant progress but an agreement is not imminent. She flew into Baghdad amid indications that a draft deal had been concluded, but she said that was premature.
U.S. officials said more work is needed to reach agreements on a timeline for withdrawals, immunity for U.S. troops and the handling of Iraqi prisoners. The exact details of the deal have not been revealed but informed sources said the deal would set the end of 2011 as the deadline for the complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq.