US: Draft pact struck on US forces in Iraq

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A senior U.S. military official says the U.S. government has approved a draft agreement on reducing the American military presence in Iraq.

The official said the deal is not final and is subject to acceptance by Iraqi leaders. The official said that barring any Iraqi objections that would require a reopening of negotiations, the agreement meets U.S. objectives.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal has not yet been announced, said it includes an American demand that the United States retains exclusive legal jurisdiction over its troops in Iraq.

Also worked out by negotiators is a companion agreement known as a strategic framework agreement. The official said that Washington has approved it but it still is subject to final approval in Baghdad. That agreement covers a range of political, economic and security relationships between the United States and Iraq.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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