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Dec. 12 (Bloomberg) -- NATO will withdraw its military- training mission in Iraq by the end of the month, following a similar move by the U.S.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will scrap the seven-year-old mission at the end of its current mandate, the military alliance said today in an e-mailed statement from Brussels. Iraq’s parliamentary speaker, Usama al-Nujaifi, told reporters today in Baghdad that the assembly won’t grant immunity to foreign troops beyond Dec. 31.
“Agreement on the extension of this successful program did not prove possible despite robust negotiations conducted over several weeks,” NATO said. The program has trained more than 5,000 military personnel and 10,000 police since 2004, it said.
Remaining U.S. troops are set to return home at the end of the year, officially ending the eight-year war. The Iraqi government declined to provide immunity from prosecution for U.S. soldiers to stay beyond a year-end deadline negotiated as part of a 2008 agreement under President George W. Bush.
President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki will meet later today at the White House.
The U.S. military is working to remove its remaining 8,000 military personnel and 5,000 contractors from Iraq as the year- end deadline nears. That is down from a peak of about 300,000 Americans in Iraq in 2007, including almost 170,000 uniformed personnel as well as civilians and contractors.
“Parliament is not convinced in giving immunity to any foreign soldier,” al-Nujaifi said in a briefing aired on Iraqiya television today. He said the government in Baghdad was prepared to grant “partial immunity.”
--With assistance from Nayla Razzouk in Dubai. Editors: Eddie Buckle, James Hertling
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