Al-Maliki says security pact in US, Iraqi interest

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki says a new security accord with the United States is something he wants and both sides need, but he says any deal that doesn't respect Iraqi interests could threaten his government.

The talks have gotten hung up over Iraq's demand that it have legal jurisdiction over U.S. forces in the country if they're accused of wrongdoing. Al-Maliki tells The Associated Press he's now willing to compromise on the matter.

He's suggesting he'll accept immunity for U.S. forces accused of wrongdoing when they're pursuing their official duties. But he would demand Iraqi legal jurisdiction over them if the incident occurs outside of that capacity.

The prime minister says he believes if this issue is resolved, the other "hanging issues" could be solved quickly.

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

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