What is George W. Bush thankful for? The Iraqi parliament voted Thursday to approve an agreement outlining the terms of U.S. military operations in the country. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki described the deal, negotiated over a year, as “an agreement for the withdrawal of foreign forces from Iraq.”

That’s because one of the concessions Iraqis demanded — and won — was a timetable for U.S. withdrawal. The new deadline is 2011.

The agreement will go to a national referendum before July 30, but either side must give a year’s notice before cancelling the deal. Whatever happens, the U.S. military now has a legal framework for operations in Iraq until at least mid-2010.

AFP via Google:

Iraq’s parliament on Thursday approved a landmark military pact that will see all US troops withdraw by the end of 2011, eight years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and plunged the country into chaos.

After 11 months of hard-nosed negotiations with Washington and a flurry of internal negotiations leading up to the vote, the pact was approved by 149 members of the 198 who attended the session of the 275-member assembly.

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