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Iraqi presidency council approves security pact with U.S.
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22:09, December 04, 2008

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Iraqi presidency council approved on Thursday a security pact that would allow the U.S. troops to stay another three years, a spokesman said.

"The presidency council has ratified the security deal with theUnited States," presidency council spokesman Naseer al-Ani told Xinhua.

The council consists of President Jalal Talabani and his two deputies.

Iraq's parliament endorsed the pact on Nov. 27 by a wide margin to allow the U.S. force in Iraq to enjoy a legal status after the UN mandate expires at the year end.

Under the agreement, the American troops will pull out of Iraqi cities and towns by July 2009 and leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

However, the pact faces a referendum planed for next July.

The approval by the presidency council came as Iraq was hit over the past days by a surge of bombing attacks mainly against police targets, which left dozens dead and hundreds wounded.

Two suicide car bomb blasts struck two police stations Thursday in the city of Fallujah, leaving at least 15 people killed and 147others injured.


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