Accessibility links

Iraqi FM Says US Agrees to End Immunity for Security Guards


Iraq's foreign minister says the United States has agreed to end the legal immunity of foreign security guards operating in Iraq.

Hoshyar Zebari told Iraqi lawmakers Tuesday that Washington made the concession during negotiations with Baghdad on a long-term security pact.

U.S. officials have declined to discuss details of the talks, but have expressed hope a deal will be reached by the end of this month.

U.S. authorities have granted foreign security guards immunity from prosecution under Iraq's legal system since the 2003 invasion.
Iraqi leaders have complained that the guards are not being held accountable for excessive use of force against Iraqi civilians.

In another development, Iraq's largest Sunni parliamentary bloc has taken a step toward rejoining the Shi'ite-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The Iraq Accordance Front presented Mr. Maliki Tuesday with a list of five candidates for Cabinet posts. Parliament must now approve the candidates.

The bloc pulled out of Iraq's national unity government last August, saying the Shi'ite-led administration was not making enough concessions to the Sunni minority.

In violence on Tuesday, a truck bomb exploded near the house of a Sunni sheikh in northern Iraq, killing one person. Police say the blast in a town south of Mosul wounded at least 25 other people, including the sheikh.

Elsewhere, a series of attacks killed at least five people in Diyala province in northeastern Iraq.

Foreign security contractors working in Iraq for the U.S. Defense Department are subject to U.S. military justice, but the status of State Department contractors is unclear.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.


XS
SM
MD
LG