Iraq's Kurdish leader to head to US for security pact negotiations
President Massoud al-Barzani of Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region will lead a high-ranking delegation to the United States at the end of the week to discuss Baghdad's long-term security agreement with Washington, dpa reports.
The visit comes at the request of the US Department of State and will take a few days, the head of the region's presidential office, Fouad Hussein, told the Voices of Iraq (VOI) news agency on Sunday.
Hussein did not disclose the names of the delegation members, but said that they would meet with senior US officials.
Negotiations are currently under way between the governments of Iraq and the US for the controversial security agreement that is expected to regulate the presence of US troops in Iraq when a UN mandate expires at the end of this year.
Washington and Baghdad have worked out a draft text earlier this month. However, it must still be approved by lawmakers in both countries.
A number of Iraqi politicians and lawmakers are against the deal as an infringement on Iraqi sovereignty, and members of the Iraq's Council of Ministers have called for amendments.