Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Iraqi parliament demands say in any extension of U.S.-led forces

Above: Soldiers find their way through dust stirred up by a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter last week.

Iraqi legislators led by followers of a radical Shiite cleric passed a resolution Tuesday requiring the government to seek parliamentary permission for asking the United Nations to extend the mandate of U.S.-led forces in Iraq .

The measure was approved along party lines, with Sunnis joining the bloc loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr and another disaffected Shiite party to support it, and Shiite and Kurdish backers of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki 's government in opposition.

The U.N. mandate for foreign forces in Iraq has been extended for a year through Dec. 31 at al-Maliki's request, so the parliamentary action was not expected to have any immediate effect. But it reflected growing disenchantment with the U.S.-backed government as Iraq's fractured parties jockey for power amid calls for U.S. forces to withdraw.

"If the government wants to extend the presence of the multinational forces, it has to come to us in the parliament to convince us first," said the Sunni parliament speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani.

Read the rest at AOL News

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