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Last Updated: Monday, 26 November 2007, 21:55 GMT
Iraq seeks UN troop mandate's end
US soldiers in Iraq. File photo
There are currently more than 160,000 US troops in Iraq
Baghdad will ask the UN to renew the mandate of US-led forces in Iraq for a final time until the end of 2008, Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has said.

He said the mandate should be replaced by a new pact between Iraq and the US.

The Security Council has been renewing the troops' mandate annually since the US-led invasion into Iraq in 2003.

Mr Maliki also urged the UN to remove all restrictions on Iraqi sovereignty, which have been in place since Baghdad's invasion into Kuwait in 1990.

Iraq-US talks

"The United States has promised that the multinational forces will stay under a UN mandate only until the end of 2008," Mr Maliki said in a televised address.

Mr Maliki said that Iraq had reached the stage where it did not need coalition forces, adding that the country should be allowed to become a "normal state".

Mr Maliki's remarks came shortly after he and US President George W Bush had agreed to hold formal talks next year about the future ties between the two nations, including the role of American troops.

The size and shape of the long-term US presence in Iraq would be a "key matter for negotiation," said Lt Gen Douglas Lute, White House deputy national security adviser.

There are currently more than 160,000 US troops in Iraq.



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