Thursday, May 10, 2007

Majority of Iraqi lawmakers endorse Sadrist draft bill for U.S. pullout

Above: A re-enlistment ceremony at the 'crossed sabers' monument in Baghdad's 'Green Zone', where the Iraqi government and U.S. military are headquartered.

BAGHDAD -- A majority of Iraqi lawmakers endorsed a draft bill calling for a timetable for the withdrawal of foreign troops and demanding a freeze on the number already in the country, lawmakers said Thursday.

The legislation was being discussed even as U.S. lawmakers were locked in a dispute with the White House over their call to start reducing the size of the U.S. force in the coming months.

The proposed Iraqi legislation, drafted by the parliamentary bloc loyal to anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, was signed by 144 members of the 275-member house, said Nassar al-Rubaie, the leader of the Sadrist bloc.

The Sadrist bloc, which holds 30 parliamentary seats and sees the U.S.-led forces as an occupying army, has pushed similar bills before, but this was the first time it garnered the support of a majority of lawmakers.

Read the rest at the Seattle Times

Related Link:
Report: Nearly half of Iraqi lawmakers sign petition in favor of scheduled withdrawal

Related Link:
Sadr bloc returns to parliament after demands met for consideration of U.S. withdrawal, end of UN mandate