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Iraqi Parliament: US Military Presence Not Allowed after 2011

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TEHRAN, May 15 (ICANA) – As many believe the US administration is on a campaign to keep its troops in the oil-rich Iraq beyond the 2011 deadline, Iraqi lawmakers have become united in their stance, saying they will not allow any extension for foreign troops in Iraq.
Sunday, May 15, 2011 10:29:40 AM
Iraqi Parliament: US Military Presence Not Allowed after 2011

The statement of the lawmakers comes as Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki stated in his recent press conference that any extension for the presence of foreign forces needs to have the full support of the parliament and all Iraqi political blocs.

The lawmakers stressed that the Iraqi security forces are fully capable of securing the country following the withdrawal of US combat troops. They say the country has made extraordinary progress and has been working hard to ensure the Iraqi security forces are ready by the end of 2011.

Based on the agreement that was signed in the year 2008 between the two countries' heads of state, Washington is obliged to withdraw its occupation forces from Iraq by late 2011. Many MPs say the date cannot come soon enough.

Officials say Iraqi security forces have the backing of the public, as the majority believes foreign troops have brought nothing but instability to the country

The US claims the reason behind its presence is only to preserve stability, and amid worldwide skepticism, US generals have said that they will abide by the agreement to withdraw their troops by the end of the year.

The US invaded Iraq in 2003 under the pretext of destroying alleged weapons of mass destruction. However, no such weapons were ever found. Since then countless numbers of Iraqi civilians have been killed. Furthermore, violence has forced more than 1.5 million Iraqis to flee their homes.

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