Maliki: Talks on US-Iraqi Security Deal at 'Dead End'
By VOA News
13 June 2008
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki negotiations with the United States on a planned long-term security agreement have reached a "dead end."
Mr. Maliki told reporters during a visit to Jordan Friday that talks between the two sides are deadlocked because of U.S. demands that infringe on Iraq's sovereignty. He called the demands unacceptable.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have been negotiating a deal to allow American forces to remain in Iraq beyond December 31, when their United Nations mandate expires.
Separately, Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said his Mahdi Army militia will continue to resist U.S.-led forces, but that fighting will be limited to a select group of his choosing. He made the statement after Friday prayers in the Shi'ite city of Kufa.
In other news, the U.S. military said coalition forces detained 18 suspected al-Qaida in Iraq militants in operations throughout the country since Thursday.
A military statement said coalition troops captured two of the suspected terrorists in separate raids Friday north of Baghdad, while detaining four others in the northern city of Mosul.
The military says one of its detainees is a man suspected of having ties to an al-Qaida in Iraq bombing network in the Tigris River Valley.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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