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    Inside Iraq - security pact - Nov 21 - Part 1

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    Al Jazeera English

    by Al Jazeera English

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    After months of stalemate, painstaking negotiations, and political poker play, the US and Iraq have finally agreed on a definite date - to end the US-led occupation of Iraq by 2011.

    Iraqi negotiators consider the firm withdrawal date a victory after the outgoing Bush administration had long insisted it would rely on conditions on the ground rather than be tied down to a timetable.

    Senior US military officials, on the other hand, have been quoted as privately criticising US President George Bush for giving Iraq more control over American military operations for the next three years than it had contemplated.

    Some critics say Bush gave in to Iraqi demands to avoid leaving the decisions to his successor, President-elect Barack Obama

    However, the security agreement approved by the Iraqi Cabinet by a resounding majority last week could still be derailed by the Iraqi parliament.

    But with talks of conspiracy theories and secret deals circulating in Baghdad, critics believe Iraq's Parliament will be split further, making it even more difficult for the new security pact to be passed.

    Our guests this week are Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, plus the leader of Iraq's National Dialogue Front Saleh Al-Mutlaq and Asma Al-Musawi from the Sadrist Movement.