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Iraqi parliament rejects draft bill of non-U.S. troops pullout
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11:14, December 21, 2008

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The Iraqi parliament Saturday rejected a draft law which stated that all foreign troops except for the United States to withdraw from Iraq by mid next year, lawmakers said.

"The draft law has been rejected by the majority of the lawmakers in today's session," said Nassir al-Isawi, a member of parliamentary bloc loyal to firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

The lawmakers' rejection came after the first reading for a draft bill approved on Tuesday by the Iraqi cabinet, Isawi said.

Hussein al-Falluji, another lawmaker from the Iraqi Accordance Front said that "such relations between countries should be organized according to international law and through agreements, not by a law."

The cabinet bill sets a timetable for withdrawal of non-U.S. foreign troops from Iraq by five months for combat troops starting from January and seven months for the rest of them.

The cabinet draft was mainly to affect the roughly 4,000 British troops in southern Iraq.

However, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his visiting British counterpart Gordon Brown said in Baghdad Wednesday that the British troops would end its mission in Iraq in the first half of next year.


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