Baghdad assures neighbours US troops will not assail them from Iraq

Other News Materials 26 November 2008 02:38 (UTC +04:00)

Jordanian Prime Minister Nader Dahabi on Monday received a letter from his Iraqi counterpart Nuri al-Maliki assuring him that under the provisions of the security pact with Washington, US troops will not be allowed to use Iraqi territory to attack Jordan or any other neighbouring country, Iraqi Culture Minister Maher Hadithi said, dpa reported.

The Iraqi minister made the remarks to reporters after meeting with Dahabi to relay to him al-Maliki's message.

He said that "similar letters would be sent to all Arab countries to update them on the intentions that inspired the Iraqi government to sign the security agreement."

Responding to a question, Hadithi said that the Iraqi government insisted on the "inclusion in the security agreement of assurances to the neighbouring countries that the US or other troops will not be allowed to exploit Iraq's land and airspace to launch a war on any neighbouring country or any other state in the world."

In late October, Syria charged that the US launched a fatal attack on a Syrian village near the Iraqi border. Since then, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has spoken out against the signing of the US-Iraqi security pact, saying it would turn Iraq into "a base for attacks on its neighbours."

The US government has not officially commented on the US commando operation, but unofficially the target was an al-Qaeda militant in Iraq.

The security accord, which provides for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by the end of 2011, has already been signed by the Iraqi government but differences inside the parliament so far have impeded its ratification by the country's legislature.