Iraq signs deal with UK, Australia over troops stay until July

Iraq signed agreements with Britain and Australia on Tuesday for their troops to stay in Iraq for seven months that are part of US occupation for years. 1, Iraq's Defence Ministry said.

Iraq signs deal with UK, Australia over troops stay until July
Ministry spokesman Mohammed al-Askari said the agreements would take effect on New Year's Day and would require the two countries' combat troops to leave Iraq by the end of July.

Britain has 4,100 troops stationed in Iraq, near the southern oil centre of Basra. Australia has 300 troops.

A spokesman for the British embassy in Baghdad said: "I can confirm that we've signed an agreement."

An Australian embassy official was not able to comment.

Iraq's Presidency Council on Sunday ratified a legislation agreed by parliament allowing troops from Britain, Australia, El Salvador, Romania and Estonia and the NATO alliance to stay for Iraq occupation until July 2009.

Bilateral agreements between Iraq and each country still needed to be finalised.

Askari said deals would be signed in the next few days with diplomats from other countries with small numbers of troops in the U.S.-led force in Iraq occupation.

Last Mod: 31 Aralık 2008, 13:25
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