Draft pact between U.S. and Iraq

The U.S. and Iraq are working against a deadline of year's end when the U.N. mandate authorizing the U.S.-led mission expires.

The draft calls for U.S. troops to leave Iraqi cities by the end of June and withdraw from the country entirely by Dec. 31, 2011, unless the government in Baghdad asks some of them to stay for training or security support, Iraqi officials familiar with the accord said.

It also would give the Iraqis a greater role in U.S. military operations and full control of the Green Zone, the 3-square-mile area of central Baghdad that includes the U.S. Embassy and major Iraqi government offices.

American troops could face trial before Iraqi courts for major crimes committed off base and when not on missions, under a draft security pact hammered out in months of tortuous negotiations.

Discussing the security pact, a senior Iraqi official said Baghdad may demand even more concessions before the draft is submitted to parliament for a final decision.

[Washington Times]

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