Iraq Takes Control Of Green Zone From US

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Iraq's prime minister says the handover of the heavily fortified Green Zone and the presidential palace is the most visible sign his country has regained its sovereignty.

Nouri al-Maliki spoke Thursday during a ceremony marking the takeover by Iraqi authority of Saddam Hussein's large palace.

The takeover is part of a security deal with the United States. After the 2003 U.S.-led invasion the palace had served as the U.S. Embassy and headquarters of the U.S military in Iraq.

Al-Maliki says he will propose Jan. 1 as a national holiday to commemorate what he described as "Sovereignty Day" -- the day Iraq took the lead in security from U.S. forces of its airspace and a wide swath of Baghdad's Green Zone.


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