Iraq security agreements talks deadlocked

The World

Prime Minister Maliki spoke to reporters and he dismissed reports that a security deal with the US is close. He found it strange that people were talking about an agreement that’s no more than a draft, and that draft has been rejected because Iraq cannot allow US forces to put Iraqis in jail nor to have sole responsibility for counterterrorism operations. Other disagreements include long term control of US military bases, US airspace, and immunity for US troops and contractors from Iraqi law. This analyst says the Iraqis are interested in this for reclaiming sovereignty. US officials say they’re not trying to lay the groundwork for a permanent occupation but President Bush is dead set against a timeline for withdrawal. Congress also doesn’t want the Bush administration to use a security agreement to cement its policies in place for the next President. But this military analyst says those worries are overblown. He says the Bush administration is not trying to negotiate a full blown treaty with Iraq which can be frustrating for Iraqi officials. If the US and Iraqi governments cannot come to an agreement, Baghdad might ask the UN to extend its mandate in Iraq for another year.

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