Friday, August 22, 2008
Washington denies finalization of a deal that requires a complete US withdrawal from Iraq by 2011, saying talks with Baghdad are still ongoing.
“There are still discussions ongoing,” AFP quoted White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe as saying when questioned about an Iraqi senior official’s announcement that the two sides had reached a deal. “It’s not done until it’s done,” he said on Friday.
Earlier in the day, head of Iraqi negotiating team, Mohammed al-Haj Hammoud, said the US and Iraqi negotiators had finalized a deal which will see the complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by 2011.
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Hammoud said both parties had agreed for the combat troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 2009, adding the negotiations were over and the pact was pending agreement by Iraqi leaders.
“When negotiations are hopefully coming to an end, when you can see the end in sight, there are a lot of details that have to be worked out, and I think we’re in the process of working out details right now,” Johndroe told reporters.
US President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki discussed efforts to reach the deal in a conversation by secure video conference and agreed that those discussions would continue, the spokesman added.
This article was posted: Friday, August 22, 2008 at 12:26 pm