Iraqi lawmakers demand U.S. withdrawal
By United Press International
05/04/07 – – – BAGHDAD, May 2 (UPI) — As calls in the U.S. Congress grow for a scheduled troop withdrawal from Iraq, similar demands are escalating in Iraq’s National Assembly.
Some 133 Iraqi lawmakers from different political blocs, calling themselves the “free deputies,” signed a document demanding a scheduled withdrawal of the U.S.-led multinational troops from their country, according to the Sadrist bloc in Parliament.
A legislator from the Sadrist bloc, Saleh al-Okaili, told reporters Wednesday that his group initiated the document ahead of a U.N. Security Council review on Iraq slated for next month. The Sadrist bloc, whose Cabinet ministers had resigned, represents members of a group led by Shiite maverick leader Moqtada Sadr, who has been calling for setting a timetable to end the U.S.-British occupation of Iraq.
Okaili said the memo signed by the lawmakers in the 275-seat Parliament would be handed over to the U.N. Security Council and its secretary-general, the Organization of Islamic Conference and the Iraqi government.
“We call on the Iraqi government to refer to Parliament when discussing a review of the foreign presence in Iraq and not to deal unilaterally with the issue, as has been the case in the past,” the lawmaker said.