|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Salman Haider likely to be UN's Iraq representative
July 03, 2004 01:12 IST
Last Updated: July 03, 2004 04:14 IST
Former Indian foreign secretary Salman Haider is likely to accept the appointment as United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan's Special Representative to Iraq, according to diplomatic sources.
Haider, a former ambassador to China and Britain, is on a five-person list for the top UN envoy to Iraq which has been suggested months ago by Annan's secretariat, a diplomat told a news agency on condition of anonymity.
"For the Secretariat, it has been agreed to choose the candidates from developing Islamic countries," the source said. "Preferably, the new envoy should be a Muslim and can speak Arabic."
According to the diplomat, Annan has agreed with the nomination well before the power handover in Iraq last month, hoping to come up with a new envoy when the transfer ceremony was held on June 28 two days ahead of schedule.
But some candidates, including one from Morocco and one from Mauritania, declined the offer due to concern about the worrisome security situation in Iraq.
Annan said last Friday before his trip to Sudan that he will name his new envoy to Iraq "in one week," and the new envoy will be based in Baghdad.
In the aftermath of last August's bombing attack which killed Annan's Special Representative in Iraq, Sergio de Mello, along with 21 of his colleagues, the UN chief has decided to pull out all his international staff from Baghdad.