Iraqi parliament approves US security pact

November 27, 2008 5:16:08 AM PST
Iraq's parliament has approved a security pact with the United States that lets American troops stay in the country for three more years. 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.