Late last month during the heated negotiations over the U.S.-Iraq security agreement, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki took issue with the pact’s terminology. “We don’t call it a security pact but an agreement to withdraw the troops and organize their activities during the period of their presence in Iraq,” Maliki said. Now that an agreement has been reached, which includes a mandate for all U.S. troops to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, Maliki’s terminology has been made official:
The Bush administration had sought a conventional status of forces agreement that would provide a semi-permanent basis for stationing troops in Iraq, while Obama campaigned on promises to withdraw all combat troops within 16 months of his inauguration. The Arabic language version calls the final agreement a withdrawal accord.