Iraqi parliament postpones vote on US security pact

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Iraq's parliament had been expected to vote on a security agreement with the United States today, but that's been postponed until tomorrow as political factions try to come up with a deal to get it passed with a broader majority.

The security agreement would establish a clear timetable for the departure of U.S. troops, but a number of political groups are seeking concessions in return for their support.

Among the possibilities being discussed is putting the deal to a nationwide referendum some time next year.

The speaker of the parliament says "the general climate is definitely moving toward a solution" that could allow a vote tomorrow morning.

Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's ruling coalition appears to be assured of at least a slim majority. But the prime minister is working for a bigger margin, one that transcends sectarian divisions and reinforces the legitimacy of the pact.

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

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