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U.S. Offers Draft Proposal for a U.N. Mission in Iraq

August 14, 2003|From Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS — The United States on Wednesday introduced a resolution that would establish a U.N. mission in Iraq and welcome the Iraqi Governing Council as "an important step" toward the formation of a true government.

The draft resolution was broadly supported by the other four permanent members of the Security Council -- Russia, China, Britain and France, U.N. diplomats said. It was given to the 10 nonpermanent members at a council meeting, and diplomats said Washington was hoping for a vote as early as today.

Last week, Secretary-General Kofi Annan chided council members for failing to say anything about the 25-member Governing Council after three of its members addressed a Security Council meeting July 22. He also said the Security Council should formally establish a U.N. mission to oversee U.N. efforts to help rebuild Iraq and establish a democratic government.

That call pushed the Security Council's veto-wielding members to agree on a draft, diplomats said Wednesday, though sensitivities were still strong more than four months after the bitterly divided Security Council refused to back the Iraq war.

The U.N. operation in Iraq is currently run by Annan's special representative, Sergio Vieira de Mello. Annan has proposed that the new U.N. Assistance Mission include more than 300 civilian staff members dealing with humanitarian, political, reconstruction and other issues.

The resolution did not mention a broader U.N. mandate in Iraq sought by France, Germany, India and other countries before they would consider sending troops to the Mideast nation.

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