About Us   Jobs   Contact Us      


Gates: 'Dramatic Consequences' of Failed Pact with Iraq
    2008-10-22 05:52:56     Xinhua
Related: Iraq Wants Amendments to US Security Deal

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned on Tuesday of the "dramatic consequences" if the U.S. and Iraqi governments fail in reaching a pact as a legal base for the American military to continue its presence in Iraq.

"I don't think you slam the door shut, but I would say it's pretty far closed," Gates was cited by U.S. media as saying at a press conference, warning that failure to reach a new Status Of Forces Agreement (SOFA) or renew the current UN mandate for U.S. troops that expires at the end of the year would lead to a suspension of U.S. operations in Iraq.

The Pentagon chief said that the U.S. government has stopped doing anything and let "the Iraqi political process play out," but he noted that "the clock is ticking."

"What really needs to happen is for us to get this SOFA done. It's a good agreement. It's good for us. It's good for them," he added.

Gates summoned reporters after the Iraqi government demanded changes earlier on Tuesday to the draft SOFA to allow three more years for the U.S. military's presence in the country, which was opposed by some Iraqi lawmakers.

The Iraqi parliament must approve the pact before Dec. 31 when the current U.S. mandate expires or no legal basis will exist for the U.S.-led military mission.

However, the White House said on Tuesday that it was not surprised by difficulties in reaching the pact with Iraq, which was expected to be sealed in July.

"We knew it was going to take a little while to get this done," said spokeswoman Dana Perino. "The status of forces agreement is a little bit more complicated. We knew that the Iraqis would have several steps to go through."



CRIENGLISH.com claims the copyright of all material and information produced originally by our staff. No person, organization and/or company shall reproduce, disseminate or broadcast the content in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of CRIENGLISH.com.

CRIENGLISH.com holds neither liability nor responsibility for materials attributed to any other source. Such information is provided as reportage and dissemination of information but does not necessarily reflect the opinion of or endorsement by CRI.

Also on our site
China | World
• Russian Natural Gas Supplies to Balkans Halted
• Three Israeli Soldiers Killed in Friendly Fire in Gaza
• Polanski's Lawyers Seek to Have Sex Case Dismissed
• Foreign Journalists still Not Allowed into Gaza
• US VP-elect Joe Biden to Visit Pakistan
• China Curbs Overseas Trips on Public Expense
Business | Sports | SciTech
• China Issues Long-awaited 3G Licenses
• Wahaha, Danone Start Trademark Arbitration
• GM Reports 31 Percent Sales Decline in U.S. Market
• Call for More Overseas Talents
• Bulgarian Figure Skating Champion Sentenced to 2.5 Years in Prison
• China's Mission to Mars Set for Take-off
Life | Showbiz
• A Seemingly Endless Scandal
• Asian Art Top Show Kicks off in Beijing
• Behind-the-Scene Photos of "Look for a Star"
• Universal Pictures Movies Set New B.O. Record in 2008
• Tan Dun's Deep Pool of talent
• Top 10 Shows in 2008 
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-07
• China Drive, Afternoon, 2009-01-06
• China Drive, Morning, 2009-01-06
• Official Property Declaration System
• India handed over evidence of Mumbai attacks to Pakistan
• EU delegation holds talks to push for a cease-fire in Gaza
• Mubarak Meets with EU Troika on Gaza Situation
• Bush says any Gaza ceasefire must stop Hamas rocket fire
View the Messages