WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States is circulating a proposed
resolution to assign a larger role to the United Nations in
peacemaking in Iraq and to outline a “political horizon” for the
country’s transition to a constitutional democracy, Secretary of
State Colin Powell said yesterday.

At a hastily arranged news conference, Powell said peacekeeping
troops, most of which are supplied by the United States, would be
placed under a unified command with U.S. commanders in charge.

“Certainly the United States will continue to play a dominant
role,” Powell said. “But a dominant role does not mean the only
role.”

Nonetheless, in turning to the United Nations, as demanded by
many other governments and members of Congress, the Bush
administration is modifying its strategy in Iraq.

Powell said the United Nations “has brought great skill to
nation-building.”

In response to a question, he said the move was not motivated by
the continuing loss of U.S. troops in Iraq.

Powell said U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte was circulating a
draft resolution yesterday and today to other U.N. ambassadors and
that he planned to rally support with telephone calls to foreign
ministers.

He said he had already been in touch with British Foreign
Secretary Jack Straw and foreign ministers Igor Ivanov of Russia,
Joschka Fischer of Germany and Dominique de Villepin of France.

“The initial reaction so far is positive,” he said.

The postwar operation is costing the United States at least $3.9
billion a month and has strained the American military, which has
some 140,000 troops stationed there. The administration has
struggled to attract broader international participation, and sees
the new U.N. resolution as the way to make other nations more
comfortable with contributing militarily and financially.

Some nations, including India, “felt like they needed additional
authority from the U.N. to able to participate,” White House
spokesman Scott McClellan said.

“So we said, ‘We want to listen to your concerns, we want to
work with you and we want to look at ways to encourage broader
international participation,'” McClellan said.

He made plain that the United States intends to retain political
and military control in Iraq. “This is and continues to be
something that is under the command of the United States military,
working with our coalition,” he said.

The U.S. civilian administrator for Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, and
the U.S.-led Coalition Provisional Authority are “overseeing our
efforts in Iraq and they will continue to oversee our efforts in
Iraq,” McClellan said. “We want to encourage more countries to
participate.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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