London: Britain's Middle East minister says a failure by Iraq to agree to a new security pact with Britain and the United States would raise questions about the Baghdad government.
Bill Rammell told reporters on Thursday that swift progress is needed before the current United Nations mandate for troops expires on December 31.
The pact will lay out a new legal basis for the presence of foreign troops in Iraq.
Iraq's Cabinet has asked the US for changes to a draft of the pact, but hasn't specified what changes it wanted. Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned that without agreement, all US military operations would have to cease.
Rammell said failure to agree on the pact would place a question mark on Iraq's political progress.