Iraqi Premier Nouri al-Maliki 'will not sign' the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) over fears that it might create division in the country.
A lawmaker from the United Iraqi Alliance, Iraq's most powerful parliamentary bloc, made the announcement, adding that a "national consensus" is required before any move, the McClatchy Newspaper reported on Saturday.
MP Sheikh Jalal al-Din al-Sagheer, who is also the deputy head of Iraq's Supreme Islamic Council, added that the country's political leaders are thinking about alternative options, including an extension of the UN mandate for the presence of US troops inside the country.
According to the report, Russia has assured Baghdad that it would not veto any motion at the UN Security Council to extend the mandate of US troops inside Iraq.
If the agreement is shelved, the Bush Administration, which has been seeking to provide a legal b
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