"U.S. negotiators indeed showed a great deal of flexibility and
understanding," Zebari said. "There are clear articles that say that Iraq
will not be used as a launching pad for any aggressive acts against
neighboring countries, and we already did clarify this."
Officials said the draft accord contained two target dates. The first
target was June 30, 2009, when the U.S. military would withdraw from Iraqi
cities and villages. The second target was for a full U.S. withdrawal by
Dec. 31, 2011.
Few details on the agreement, which would be examined by the Iraqi
parliament, were released. Congress was not expected to vote on the accord.
Officials acknowledged that several issues remain unresolved and would
be discussed over the next few months. A key dispute was whether U.S.
soldiers accused of breaking the law would be granted immunity by Iraq.
Another unresolved issue was the extent of any U.S. military advisory
presence after a troop withdrawal, officials said. About 144,000 American
soldiers, more than 90 percent of them combat soldiers, remain in Iraq.
"This agreement determines the principle provisions, requirements, to
regulate the temporary presence and the time horizon, the mission of the
U.S. forces," Zebari said. "We are very close. We have a text, but not the
final agreement. Everything has been addressed."