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Iraq, U.S. seek compromise

BAGHDAD — Iraq's foreign ministry said Thursday that Iraqi and U.S. officials are seeking a compromise on the pending issues over a new security agreement between the two countries.

The statement came a day after Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari met with President Bush to discuss the security agreement meant to replace the U.N. mandate for foreign forces, which expires at the end of the year.

"Both sides agreed on finding suitable solutions for pending issues in order to reach an agreement that answers their needs," the ministry said.

Later Thursday, the White House said Bush discussed the ongoing negotiations during a teleconference call with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and that the dialogue over the agreement was "proceeding well."

"President Bush confirmed the United States' commitment to forge an agreement that fully respects Iraqi sovereignty," said Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the National Security Council.

Iraqi officials and lawmakers have opposed the proposed pact, claiming it infringes on Iraq's independence and sovereignty.

They criticized the purported failure of the United States to offer a firm commitment to defend the country from any invasion and a demand for immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts for all American personnel in Iraq.

Also in contention has been the number of bases the United States would maintain in the country and whether the U.S. military will retain the power to arrest Iraqi civilians and keep them in U.S. detention facilities.

Iraqi forces meet little resistance

Iraqi security forces met little resistance Thursday on Day 1 of the government's crackdown in the southern city of Amarah as they sought to disarm gunmen loyal to the militant Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Officials said there were no casualties or gunbattles as military and police units spread through northern Amarah.

Haditha ruling appealed: Military prosecutors in Camp Pendleton, Calif., are appealing the dismissal of charges against Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, who is accused of failing to investigate the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha, Iraq. Prosecutors went to the military court on Wednesday to file the notice of intent to appeal, according to documents released Thursday.

Case dismissed: Italy's top criminal court, the Court of Cassation in Rome, ruled Thursday that U.S. Spc. Mario Lozano cannot be tried for the fatal shooting in 2005 of Italian intelligence agent Nicola Calipari in Iraq. The court confirmed a lower court ruling last year that said Italy has no jurisdiction in the case. Lozano was being tried in absentia on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Times wires

Iraq, U.S. seek compromise 06/19/08 [Last modified: Monday, November 1, 2010 12:22pm]
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