Iraq: Top Kurdish Legislator Wants US Forces to Stay Beyond Their Planned Departure

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Context

Kamal Kirkuki , the parliament chief of the autonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq, said Tuesday that American forces must stay beyond their scheduled departure deadline at the end of this year because security situation in the country remains fragile. The US has repeatedly asked the Iraqis to decide whether they want some troops in the country after 2011. Kirkuki’s views stand in sharp contrast to those of the powerful Shi’te coalition in Baghdad which strongly opposes the presence of almost 50,000 American troops in Iraq after the end of 2011.