Friday, January 25, 2008

Democrats want Congress to OK any military agreement with Iraq

AFP - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Friday that any long-term military agreement between the US government and Iraq requires the approval of Congress.

"Some Republicans are talking about staying in Iraq for 50 or even 100 years, while President (George W.) Bush wants to cut a deal that will guarantee our presence well past his term," ending in January 2009, Reid told the National Press Club.

"The president is on notice: he cannot do that unilaterally," warned the top Democrat in a speech ahead of Bush's State of the Union address next Tuesday.

"Any long-term deal must meet the approval of Congress. And the majority of this Congress wants to responsibly end the war so that we can turn to other critical challenges, like Afghanistan," Reid added.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Thursday said that a planned military agreement with Iraq would not include any permanent US military bases in that country.

"I think the way to think about the framework agreement is an approach to normalizing the relationship between the United States and Iraq," Gates said.......

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