Iraqi parliament approves US security pact

BAGHDAD - November 27, 2008 - The vote was backed by the ruling coalition's Shiite and Kurdish blocs as well as the largest Sunni Arab bloc, which demanded concessions for supporting the deal.

Parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said an "overwhelming majority" of the lawmakers - 220 out of 275 - voted in favor.

Under the deal, U.S. forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30 and the entire country by Jan. 1, 2012.

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