BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have reached agreement on a proposal calling for a complete U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq by 2012, the head Iraqi negotiator said Friday.
A U.S. soldier patrols a street this week on the outskirts of Baquba, Iraq.
The deal still must be approved by both sides, said Mohammed al-Haj Hamoud, deputy foreign minister and head of the Iraqi negotiating team.
Hamoud said Thursday's meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki was helpful in reaching the tentative agreement.
Hamoud said the proposal also says the last date for the presence of U.S. troops in cities and towns will be June 30, 2009.
There are clear caveats, however.
If the Iraqi government sees the necessity of keeping the American forces in cities and towns or in Iraq past December 31, 2011, it would ask that the Americans stay. A joint Iraqi-U.S. committee would help define the duration and number of forces that would be needed and regularly assess the security situation on the ground.
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