December 20, 2008 / 12:26 PM / 12 years ago

Iraq lawmakers reject law on British troops

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BAGHDAD, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Iraq’s parliament rejected on Saturday a draft law that allows troops from Britain, Australia and a few other countries to remain beyond the end of this year, Iraqi parliamentarians said.

The draft law, which covers the temporary presence of the foreign troops once a U.N. mandate expires on Dec. 31, was rejected in a voice vote, said Hussein al-Falluji, a member of the Sunni Accordance Front.

He said lawmakers wanted the government to draw up an agreement akin to the U.S.-Iraqi deal that allows U.S. troops to stay in Iraq three more years.

The law would cover the future of troops from Britain, Australia, Romania, Estonia, El Salvador and NATO in Iraq, where violence has fallen sharply and foreign troops are increasingly handing over security control to local forces.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown confirmed this week that Britain plans to withdraw its remaining 4,100 troops from Iraq by the end of July. (Reporting by Waleed Ibrahim and Ahmed Rasheed; Writing by Missy Ryan)

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