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Iraqi Political Leaders Reject Immunity For U.S. Training Troops


U.S. forces are supposed to withdraw from Iraq by the end of this year.

U.S. forces are supposed to withdraw from Iraq by the end of this year.

Iraqi political leaders say they don't want to grant U.S. troops immunity from prosecution if a deal is reached for American forces to stay in Iraq past the end of this year to train Iraq's military.

The statement was issued after talks on October 5 in Baghdad involving leaders of Iraq's Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish political blocs and President Jalal Talabani.

The statement, read out by Deputy Prime Minister Roz Nuri Shawez, said the leaders agreed on the need to train and equip Iraqi forces as soon as possible, but he added that they did not want to give American troops immunity, as has been demanded by Washington.

The Iraqi statement also said that all training should be held on Iraqi bases.

No official reaction from the U.S. government was immediately available.

Under an agreement between Washington and Baghdad, all U.S. forces are supposed to withdraw from Iraq by the end of this year, but officials have said some American forces could stay longer to train Iraqi troops. More than 40,000 U.S. soldiers are currently in Iraq.

compiled from agency reports
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