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Iraqi Parliament Starts Debates on US Pullout

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TEHRAN, April 26 (ICANA) – Iraqi parliamentarians started debates over the withdrawal of the US forces from their country a few minutes ago, an Iraqi legislator reported.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011 5:36:48 PM
Iraqi Parliament Starts Debates on US Pullout

"Parliament members will discuss the US military pullout based on the security pact (signed between Washington and Baghdad)," Mahmoud Osman, a Kurdish MP at the Iraqi parliament, told FNA Tuesday afternoon, adding that the discussions started minutes ago.

Based on the agreement, the US forces should leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

The parliament debates over the US pullout from the war-ravaged country started as the Iraqi government officially turned down a call by the US Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, in April for a longer US military presence in the war-torn country.

Speaking to FNA in Baghdad earlier this month, Iraqi Government Spokesman Ali al-Dabbaq said that Gates had raised the demand in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

"Mr. Maliki rejected Gates' demand, saying that Iraq will deal with the issue based on the security pact (signed between Washington and Baghdad)," Dabbaq added.

Media reports said that the US defense secretary pressed senior Iraqi officials to revise their decision on the US pullout and demand Washington to keep its troops in the country beyond their scheduled departure in the yearend.

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