US sends Iraq "final text" of security pact

BAGHDAD (AP) -- The White House calls it "a final text" and says it's now up to the Iraqi government to decide what to do with a draft security pact.

The deal would keep American troops in the country for three more years. It's drawn strong opposition inside Iraq, prompting the government to propose a number of changes. They include expanded Iraqi legal control over U.S. soldiers, a ban on U.S. forces launching military attacks against neighboring countries, and Iraqi inspections of U.S. military shipments. They would also effectively rule out any extension of the U.S. military presence beyond the end of 2011.

A top Iraqi official says the U.S. accepted some proposals and rejected others. The State Department says "the process has concluded on our side."

Iraq's parliament must approve the deal. Without an agreement by the end of the year or a new U.N. mandate, the U.S. would have to suspend all military operations in Iraq.

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


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