Iraq, US to sign military handover pact: Minister
Iraqi Defence Minister Abdel Qader Jassim said the two countries would sign a delayed accord this weekend.india Updated: Sep 06, 2006 17:51 IST
Iraq and the United States will this weekend sign a delayed accord under which the US military will hand command of Iraqi units to the government, Iraqi Defence Minister Abdel Qader Jassim Mohammed said on Wednesday.
"The agreement was delayed for technical reasons. It will be signed this weekend," he told reporters at a joint news conference in Warsaw with his Polish counterpart, Radoslaw Sikorski.
A ceremony to mark the start of a process in which Iraq's army, navy and airforce will move from US oversight and be placed under an Iraqi chain of command headed by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was abruptly called off last weekend.
No explanation was given other than US officers saying Maliki's government had requested changes in the handover document.
Earlier this week, a spokesman for the Iraqi defence ministry said lawyers were fine-tuning the document, but assured that it would be signed in "the next few days."
Yassem is on a two-day visit to Poland, which has been one of Washington's most steadfast coalition allies in Iraq since the US-led invasion in 2003.