|08-07-2008, 04:13 PM||#1|
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Join Date: Aug 2003
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U.S. troops may leave Iraq by 2011, Iraqi lawmaker says
BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An Iraqi politician said Thursday that the Iraqi and U.S. governments are close to reaching a deal under which combat troops would leave Iraq by December 2010 and other troops would leave by the end of the next year.
Haider Al-Ababdi, a Shiite parliament member from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Dawa Party, also told CNN that U.S. troops would leave Iraq's cities to remain inside their bases by June 30, 2009, under the deal.
He said the two governments had been close to reaching deal for about a week.
However, two senior U.S. officials said the United States and Iraq were close to a deal but said some issues remain unresolved.
Earlier Thursday, a senior member of a Sunni political party that recently rejoined Iraq's government was shot and killed Thursday in the northern city of Mosul, the party said.
Gunmen assassinated Mahmoud Younis Fathi, a senior member of the Iraqi Islamic Party in Nineveh province and the director of religious schools for the Sunni Endowment, the party said. Fathi's bodyguard also was killed as the pair traveled to work.
Mosul police confirmed the slayings, which occurred near Fathi's house in the western part of the city.
Sunni insurgents have targeted Sunnis who cooperate with the U.S.-backed Iraqi government. American and Iraqi troops have been fighting al Qaeda in Iraq in Mosul and surrounding Nineveh province in northern Iraq.
The Iraqi Islamic Party is the largest party in the Iraqi Accord Front bloc, which recently rejoined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government after bolting last year over disagreements with the leadership.
The Accord bloc -- which includes 44 lawmakers in the 275-member parliament -- pulled six ministers from the Cabinet last summer for several reasons, including what it called the monopolization of power by Shiites and Kurds and what it regarded as the unjust detention of Sunni Arabs.
But Sunni Arabs lately have been more friendly toward the al-Maliki government because of its efforts this year in promoting prisoner amnesty, sharing power and taking on militants in Shiite regions such as Basra, Amara, and Baghdad's Sadr City neighborhood.