The Iraqi government has given Australian and British troops the right to stay in the country after today when the UN mandate expires.
The decree was signed at the last minute by the minister of defence. British troops must be out by July 31st. The British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Iraqi counterpart Nourri Al-Maliki announced earlier this month that the 4100 British soldiers would be pulled out in that time frame. Iraq will take charge of the security mission in Baghdad’s Green zone and in Basra. The day before Christmas Eve the Iraqi parliament voted on a resolution allowing the government to sign individual agreements with each coalition country. The US has already signed an accord to allow its troops to stay in Iraq until the end of 2011.