Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has reiterated his country’s resolve not to concede impunity rights to US military personnel stationed in Iraq.
Maliki emphasized that the Iraqi government will not grant legal immunity to any foreign individual in the Middle Eastern country, IRNA reported on Saturday, citing a local Iraqi television network.
He further said that unless the American military succumbs to Baghdad’s provision, American military personnel will be required to leave as granting capitulatory rights during the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq entailed a myriad of problems for the country and undermined Iraq’s sovereignty.
Capitulatory rights can provide legal impunity for foreign nationals committing crimes in the host country, and allow the privileged country to exercise extraterritorial jurisdiction over its own criminal nationals within its own boundaries.
Around 47,000 US troops are currently in Iraq, all of whom must leave the country by the end of 2011 under the terms of a 2008 bilateral security agreement between Washington and Baghdad.
The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) also forced Washington to end its combat operations in Iraq in August 2010.
Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi also said recently that a continued US military presence in the country is “a problem, not a solution,” adding that their year-end pullout will improve Iraq’s security.
Many observers believe that Washington has no intention to leave Iraq as US troops have established several bases in the country.
Over one million Iraqis have been killed during the US-led invasion of Iraq, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.
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