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The Iraqi government proposed the memorandum after widespread Iraqi opposition to United States demands emerged during talks on a more formal Status of Forces Agreement.
The proposed memorandum includes a formula for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, al-Maliki told several Arab ambassadors to the United Arab Emirates during a meeting Monday.
"The goal is to end the presence" of foreign troops, said al-Maliki.
The contentious issues are U.S. authority to carry out military operations in Iraq and arrest the country's citizens, plus legal immunity for private contractors and control of Iraqi air space.
Zebari said the U.S. had agreed to drop immunity for private contractors and give up control of Iraqi air space if the Iraqis guaranteed they could protect the country's skies with their limited air force.
But those concessions, which were never confirmed by the U.S., were apparently not enough to cement a formal agreement, leading Iraq to pursue the memorandum announced Monday.