U.S., Iraq Are Said to Have Set
By GINA CHON and YOCHI J. DREAZEN
August 21, 2008; Page A1
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BAGHDAD -- U.S. and Iraqi negotiators reached agreement on a security deal that calls for American military forces to leave Iraq's cities by next summer as a prelude to a full withdrawal of combat troops from the country, according to senior American officials.
The draft agreement sets 2011 as the goal date by which U.S. combat troops will leave Iraq, according to Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Haj Humood and other people familiar with the matter. In the meantime, American troops will be leaving cities, towns and other population centers by the summer of 2009, living in bases outside of those areas, according to the draft.
Teams of American and Iraqi negotiators spent months haggling over the deal, which represents a remarkable turnaround from just a few months ago, when talk of timetables and deadlines was routinely dismissed by the Bush administration and other Republicans in Washington.