Iraqi Cabinet Backs US Pullout Pact

Parliament likely to approve plan by month's end
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Nov 16, 2008 7:31 AM CST
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, right, speaks next to Iraqi president Jalal Talabani during a meeting with Iraqi government officials in Baghdad earlier this month.   (AP Photo/Thaier al-Sudani, Pool)
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(Newser) – Iraq’s cabinet has approved a long-debated plan to allow US troops to stay in the country until 2011—three years beyond their UN mandate, Reuters reports. Consideration of the pact now moves to parliament, where it will likely pass, an official said. American troops are scheduled to leave Iraqi towns and villages during 2009 and quit the country altogether in 2011, according to a draft of the agreement. The pact also puts Iraq in charge of the troops for the first time.