Condi Rice says U.S., Iraq close to new security deal

America's top diplomat says the U.S. and Iraq are "very close to finalizing" a new security agreement.

That's what Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said after meeting with Iraqi officials during an unannounced visit to Baghdad today.

There are not many details just yet, but the deal is to include firm dates for U.S. troop reductions.

And both sides emphasized that coalition troops are serving at Iraq's request.

"What we're trying to do is to put together an agreement that protects our people, that respects Iraqi sovereignty, that allows us to lay the kind of foundation that we need to complete the work that we've all sacrificed so greatly to see accomplished and that work is being accomplished. But the goal is to have Iraqi forces responsible for the security of Iraq," said Rice.

Rice calls what has been forged so far, "a very good agreement."

Cathryn Khalil /