Iraqi official: Security pact likely on hold until U.S. election

The Iraqi government expects Washington to delay responding to proposed changes in a draft security agreement between the countries until after the presidential election, an aide to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said Sunday.

"Probably Washington wants to inform the new president-elect about the details of the pact," said Yassin Majid, CNN reports.

U.S. and Iraqi negotiators recently agreed to the draft status-of-forces deal that would set the terms for U.S. troops in Iraq after the U.N. mandate on their presence expires at the end of this year.

The draft agreement, according to a copy obtained by CNN, calls for U.S. combat troops to be out of Iraqi cities and villages by July 30, 2009, and out of the country entirely by December 31, 2011. The agreement allows for an earlier withdrawal or an extension of the U.S. forces' stay in Iraq, by agreement of both parties.

Last week, Iraqi officials submitted several amendments to the draft plan to U.S. negotiators in Baghdad. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told CNN that the proposed changes call for a fixed timetable of U.S. troop withdrawal; a specific number of sites and locations that would be used by the U.S. military; and Iraqi jurisdiction over U.S. forces who commit certain crimes in Iraq.

Zebari noted that some of the proposed amendments are simply "language clarification" that "are not essential."

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Tuesday that any changes would have to pass "a very high bar" for the United States to consider altering the draft status-of-forces agreement, which she described as the "best offer."

The agreement must be approved by Iraq's Cabinet by a two-thirds majority before al-Maliki can submit it to the Iraqi parliament for approval.

Jalal Deen Sagheer, a senior member of the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council -- a key member of the ruling Shiite bloc -- said the agreement "is on the right track" but threatens to be derailed by Iraqi political blocs "who don't want to approve the treaty no matter what."

"Some Iraqi lawmakers want to embarrass Maliki and his government," Sagheer told CNN on Sunday. "Others just want him to fail even though they know very well that the Iraqi government is doing all it takes to guarantee Iraq's ... interests and that the agreement will be based on Iraq's sovereignty.

"Still I believe that the main political forces in the parliament will either say 'yes' in a strong manner or 'no' in a strong manner," Sagheer said.

The most vocal opponent of the security deal in Iraq has been radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's party, which opposes any U.S. military presence in Iraq.

Sagheer noted that most Iraqi lawmakers are "stuck between two fires."

"If the Iraqi politician agrees on signing the treaty, they would say he is an American agent," Sagheer said. "And if he rejects it, they would say he is an Iranian agent. This is why I said the agreement is now on the right track and we are waiting for the American side to finish reviewing the amendments that the Iraqi government sent before they bring it to the Iraqi parliament."

The draft agreement allows the Iraqi government to ask "the United States government to leave certain forces for training and for support purposes for the Iraqi forces."

Zebari said Baghdad wants the proposed timetable "to be fixed without any optional conditions for further extension."

Legal jurisdiction over U.S. forces in Iraq has also been a sticking point in the negotiations, with the U.S. side preferring that its troops and contractors remain immune from Iraqi law.

Baghdad had sought the power to arrest and try Americans accused of crimes not related to official military operations, plus jurisdiction over troops and contractors who commit major crimes in the course of their duties.

Zebari said Baghdad wants more clarification in the status-of-forces agreement regarding the issue of jurisdiction.

"U.S. military personnel and civilian components working with the military will enjoy American jurisdiction while they are in their bases and whey they are on missions, combat missions and so on," he said. "But outside these two categories, here's the difficulties: Which jurisdiction would be applicable if a gross violation was committed, if a premeditated crime was committed?"

He noted that the draft agreement calls for a joint commission to be formed to determine the jurisdiction, but Iraq wants that changed so such a case would be entirely under Iraqi jurisdiction.

"So as you can see some of this may be difficult," he noted.

If the U.S. agrees to the proposed changes, Zebari said he expected the deal to be approved quickly.

"After these amendments I doubt there would be any further changes or amendments because nobody's interested to reopen, renegotiate the package again," Zebari said. "For months we've been negotiating that and I think what we have is almost the final draft."

Car prices in Iran drop
Car prices in Iran drop
Uzbekistan resumes flights to UAE's Sharjah
Uzbekistan resumes flights to UAE's Sharjah
Georgian air company Air Georgia implements new project with United Arab Emirates
Georgian air company Air Georgia implements new project with United Arab Emirates
Loading Bars
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijani Army liberated Minjivan settlement and 13 villages of Zangilan district
Armenia once again betrays Russia
President Ilham Aliyev: Azerbaijani Army liberates 3 villages of Fuzuli district, 5 villages of Jabrayil district
Armenian side forced to recognize Azerbaijani army’s superiority - Defense Ministry
Armenia's defensive system, military equipment and terrorists didn't help - Azerbaijan's MoD
Liberation of Zangilan to increase production and export of Azerbaijan's mineral resources
Morocco's import of Turkey's jewelry, precious stones drops
Turkey's export of jewelry, precious stones to Iran decreases - Trade Ministry
Armenia has no interest in peaceful settlement of Karabakh conflict - top official
France reduces imports of jewelry, precious stones from Turkey
Georgia's import of Turkey's jewelry, precious stones down for 9M2020
Car prices in Iran drop
Iraq likely to unblock Iran's assets
Iran continues to increase non-oil exports
Supplies of jewelry from Turkey to Iraqi market decline in 9M2020
Dissemination of inaccurate info by some websites not to affect Qatar-Azerbaijan relations - embassy
Kazakhstan’s ERG Service to establish foundry products export to Uzbekistan
Turkish jewelry supplies to Azerbaijani market plunge
No diplomatic way to resolve Karabakh conflict, admits Armenian PM
Georgia implementing new project to provide remote villages with internet
Actual revenues to Azerbaijan's budget from State Customs Service top forecast
SOCAR details plans for expanding gas distribution network in Georgia
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale October 24
Compound feed producing plant to be commissioned in Almaty
Most Azerbaijani monuments in occupied territories Armenianized or destroyed
Georgia reveals TOP 5 banks with highest interest on loans
Uzbekistan reveals growth rate of investments spent in fixed assets for 9M2020
China's import of jewelry, precious stones from Turkey slumps
EU leaders to hold COVID-19 video-conference October 29
Iran's Persian Gulf Star Oil Company boosts its exports
Turkey increases export of jewelry to US - Ministry of Trade
Transfers by Azerbaijan's State Oil Fund to state budget for 9M2020 revealed
Union of Importers of Oil Products of Georgia talks adoption of new standard for diesel fuel
Subsidies for agriculture dev't allocated in Kazakhstan's Almaty region
Price of mobile internet down in Georgia
Data on sales in foreign currency at Turkmenistan’s exchange in September
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to fall in Iran
Fitch Ratings notes Georgia’s ability to comfortably meet its funding needs
Volume of paid salaries decreases in Georgia
Germany's 9M2020 import of Turkish jewelry shrinks
President Ilham Aliyev interviewed by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Russia enhancing bilateral co-op on innovative dev't, digital economy
Uzbekistan resumes flights to UAE's Sharjah
Eni sets timeframe for wind farm construction in Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan itself implementing UN Security Council resolutions
Azerbaijan reveals state budget revenues, expenditures for 9M2020
Students of Baku Higher Oil School donate their scholarship allowances to Armed Forces Assistance Fund
Amount of investments made to launch of enterprises in Iran increases
Uzbekistan suspends gold export
Khazar Consortium opens tender for purchase of fire-fighting equipment
Georgia's import of tubes, pipes, hollow profiles from Turkey up
Three more UAVs of Armenia destroyed
Ambassador of Mexico met with Executive Director of SOFAZ
Russian entrepreneurs, well-known arm dealers involved in arming Armenia - President Aliyev
Uzbekistan considers state budget for 2021 taking into account COVID-19
Exports of knitwear from Georgia to Turkey down
Armenia creating suicide squads consisting of prisoners sentenced to death
UAE increases exports to Kazakhstan amid COVID-19
Chevron expresses will for further co-op with Kazakhstan in energy sector
Azerbaijani agency joins int'l public-private partnership association
Azerbaijani, Russian FMs meet
Exports of furniture, wood from Turkey to Turkmenistan increased
Nasdaq profit surges 76% on non-trading business strength
Georgian air company Air Georgia implements new project with United Arab Emirates
Weighted average rental rates reduce on Georgian main high streets
Azerbaijan's victory in Karabakh conflict beneficial to all parties, Russian expert says
Azerbaijan to build power supply stations in deoccupied districts
Geostat reveals volume of ferroalloys exported by Georgia to Turkey
EAEU reveals export of Turkmen vehicles
Georgia sees increase in export of flours, meals, pellets to Turkey
Operating performance of financial institutions improves in Georgia
Georgia reduces import of medicaments from Turkey
Wood, furniture exports from Turkey to Ukraine decline
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for October 21
We drove Armenian army out of our lands so fast that they fling up their heels - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan confirms 176 more COVID-19 recoveries
Military equipment abandoned by Armenian army on battlefield (PHOTO / VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev on possibility of observers introduction
At the last moment Armenian refused to return Kalbajar and Lachin, says president of Azerbaijan
Iran restarts extraction from Sulabdar oil field
Azerbaijan reaffirms position on Lachin corridor which is part of fundamental principles - President Aliyev
President Aliyev says no country helping Azerbaijan in fight with Armenia
If Armenian side says it is ready to withdraw troops from occupied territories, issue of so-called observers can be considered - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan wants peace, also territories that rightfully belong to it - President Aliyev
Full responsibility for what is happening now lies squarely with Pashinyan, says Azerbaijani president
We are offered to make concession to Armenia, unilateral concession, while nothing being offered in return - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan ready to suspend military operations, resolve issue at negotiating table - President Aliyev
Armenia’s terrorist authorities must be punished – Azerbaijani MP (VIDEO)
Georgia, UK aim to strengthen business and commercial ties
Volume of market services in Uzbekistan’s transport sector remains predominant despite decrease
Azerbaijan to issue support for children who lost parents after Armenia's Ganja attack (PHOTO)
Turkey raised wood, furniture exports to Russia - Trade Ministry
Heads of Christian religious communities of Azerbaijan protest against draft resolution submitted to US Congress
TANAP named Project of the Year by US-based PMI
Eni Turkmenistan Limited opens tender related to data transmission services
Tajikistan's import of Turkish furniture down
Demand for Azerbaijani CBA's short-term notes exceeds supply
Value of goods exported from Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province revealed
Turkic Council condemns Armenia's attacks on populated areas, civilians in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijani ASB Bank's 3Q2020 assets down
All news