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Russia, China, France want changes in Iraq resolution
Dharam Shourie in United Nations | May 27, 2004 11:44 IST
Three permanent members, Russia, China and France, and Germany have demanded major changes in the draft resolution on Iraq submitted by US and Britain to grant sovereignty by June 30 to an Iraqi interim
China, they said, has circulated a paper, which is generally supported by Russia, France and Germany, calling for changes in the text which would give the interim government full control over Iraqi police, military and reduce the initial proposed mandate of the multinational force to January next year.
Besides, the changes sought would also make it obligatory for the multinational force to consult the interim government on military operations except in self-defence.
Experts from 15 members of the Council will hold discussions shortly to go over the language and the content of the resolution which is also being discussed at high levels in the capitals where final decisions would be taken.
The aim of the changes sought is to enhance the sovereignty of the Iraqi government, China said but American diplomats contend that it is a good draft and does not need to be changed drastically. However, it could be fine-tuned. That sets the stage for acrimonious debate over next few days.
Germany's UN Ambassador Gunter Pleuger called it 'an excellent paper because it raises a lot of questions
France's UN Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sabliere said, "My understanding is that they are supporting our ideas and we are supporting their ideas."
He stressed that the interim government that Brahimi helps select must be widely accepted by the Iraqi people. He suggested a two-week wait after the announcement of the new Iraqi leadership to assess its acceptability before voting on the resolution.
France also wants a concreate language spelling out that Iraqi troops would be free to opt out of any military operations led by US commanders, he said, adding, "It is important because we want to underline that there is a real transfer of sovereignty."
The Chinese proposal would give the interim government control of the Iraqi army and police force and
These issues are not mentioned in the US-British draft.
The proposal would also determine 'that the interim government of Iraq shall exercise full sovereignty, in the political, economic, security, judicial and diplomatic areas, including the power to control and dispose all the natural and economic resources, sign economic cooperation agreements and contracts, and enjoy judicial independence and the power to administer prisons in Iraq'.