Thursday, February 19, 2004

France and Germany do it again

France and Germany want the UN Security Council to vote on "the world body's role in Iraq." This could result in "delays in reconstruction efforts and in the planned hand-over of sovereignty this summer." The UN gets more irrelevant and obstructionist everyday.

France and Germany said Wednesday that a new U.N. Security Council resolution on the world body's role in Iraq would be needed, prompting U.S. concerns about possible delays in reconstruction efforts and in the planned hand-over of sovereignty this summer.

The U.S. has been urging the United Nations to take a greater role in Iraq, but a new resolution may set up a new confrontation between the United States and two leading war opponents. The new complications arise as U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan prepares to issue recommendations on how a new Iraqi government should be selected.

Annan was expected to tell the Security Council today that direct elections were not possible before the scheduled June 30 power transfer but would be desirable by the end of the year. Additional recommendations based on a U.N. team's visit to Iraq this month are expected next week.

Bush administration officials said they feared that a debate over a new resolution could drag on long enough to force a postponement of the hand-over to a transitional Iraqi government. They also worry that it could provide the U.N. with enough leverage to force an overhaul of major infrastructure projects in the country, such as those for power plants and oil field redevelopment.


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