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Iraq says talks with US on security pact are stalled

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Iraq says talks with US on security pact are stalled

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Iraq’s prime minister says talks with the US on a new long-term security pact are deadlocked because Washington’s demands infringed Iraq’s sovereignty.

Nuri al-Maliki said Bagdad objected to US stipulations that its troops be given immunity from prosecution in Iraq as well as freedom to conduct operations, independent of Iraqi control.

Speaking to journalists during a visit to Jordan, al-Maliki said; “When negotiations got underway, we found that the US demands hugely infringe on the sovereignty of Iraq and this we can never accept. We can’t extend the US forces permission to arrest Iraqis or to undertake the responsibility of fighting terrorism in an independent way.”

The two countries are negotiating an agreement to provide a legal basis for US troops to stay in Iraq after December 31, when their UN mandate expires.
A spokesman for the US said talks were ongoing.