Iraq to Share Security Plan with Neighbors; Syria may cut Diploatic ties with Iraq

After the Iraqi government receives a response from the US on five changes to the draft security agreement proposed by the cabinet of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, al-Maliki says he will share the text with Iraq’s neighbors, so as to reassure them about the continued presence (until 2011) of US troops. Presumably Iran is the neighbor most concerned by the Status of Forces agreement.

Some reports say that Syria is severing diplomatic ties with Iraq because of the US incursion into Syrian territory. The reestablishment of a Syrian embassy in Baghdad after decades of estrangement between the two countries had been hailed in recent weeks as a giant step forward for regional diplomacy.

The flight of Nissim Jabouri, the Sunni Arab governor of Tal Afar, to the US raises the question of whether the Shiite fundamentalist government in Baghdad can incorporate Sunni Arabs into the structures of the new state.

Al-Sharq al-Awsat reports in Arabic that Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani’s office is denying that the spritual leader ever ok’d the security agreement as long as parliament signed off on it.

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