Iraqi government to sign agreement to keep some US troops in the country

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BAGHDAD, Aug 3 (KUNA) -- Iraqi political blocs gave the green light late Tuesday to the Iraqi government to sign a new agreement with the United States to Keep some of its troops, for military training purposes, beyond their departure date at the end of 2011.
This decision came as an outcome of a meeting held, late Tuesday, by Iraqi lawmakers and the Iraqi government to discuss the US troop's presence in the country.
In a press release after the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Roj Noori Shawis said that "all the political leaders have agreed to allow the Iraqi government to hold talks with the United States to sign a new agreement to keep some of its troops in the country as military trainers to the Iraqi security forces under the Strategic Framework." This Strategic Framework was signed between Baghdad and Washington with the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) late in 2008.
Shawis n oted, in his five-hour press release, that the Iraqi political leaders have agreed to form a parliamentary committee to fix any imbalances in the military and civil bodies in the country within two months.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki had met with the visiting US Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Mike Mullen and they discussed having a final decision on whether the US troops should extend their stay or not in the country.(end) mhg.nfm KUNA 031130 Aug 11NNNN