The Iraqi Cabinet on Sunday approved a new pact that calls for the U.S. military to remain in Iraq until 2011.
After nearly a year of hard bargaining with U.S. negotiators, the draft agreement calls for U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraqi cities and towns in 2009. It will also put U.S. troops who commit crimes under the jurisdiction of Iraqi courts.
Some of Iraq's many rival political factions have voiced opposition to the agreement.
Only 27 of 35 Cabinet ministers were present for Sunday's vote.
The agreement will now go to the Iraqi parliament, where it will need a two-thirds majority vote to be approved.