Baghdad, Washington reviewing draft status-of-forces agreement
A draft status-of-forces agreement authorizing the U.S. troop presence in Iraq "has been agreed upon by U.S. and Iraqi negotiators" and is currently being reviewed by the two governments, Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said Thursday, reports CNN.
He said Defense Secretary Robert Gates "is in the process of consulting closely with members of Congress" on the draft agreement. Meanwhile, Iraq's Political Council on National Security is reviewing the draft, Morrell said, citing Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh.
"We are close, but not at the final status yet," Morrell said. "And as soon as it is final, I think then we can talk in more specificity about what is actually included in it."
The United States' insistence that its troops and contractors remain immune from Iraqi law has been a key obstacle to reaching an agreement, U.S. and Iraqi officials have said.