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US not to give up dominant role in Iraq: Powell
T V Parasuram in Washington |
September 04, 2003 11:02 IST
Asserting the United States will continue to play a dominant role in Iraq, Secretary of State Colin Powell has said that Washington's efforts to give a greater role to the UN in the new proposed resolution is not linked to casualties but to an eventual process to restore sovereignty to Iraqis.
Powell said the US will remain the commander of the unified command and there will be an element in the resolution that calls upon the US as the leader of the military coalition to report on a regular basis to the UN, since it is a UN-authorised multinational force.
"Certainly, the US will continue to play a dominant role, a dominant political role through the work of Ambassador Paul Bremer and his coalition colleagues, and a dominant role because of the size of the US force presence that is there and the leadership the US is providing to the effort.
"But a dominant role does not mean the only role. There are many roles to be played, and we believe that every peace-loving nation in the world, every nation that would like to see a more stable Middle East, that would like to see a democracy arise in that part of the world, would want to play a role.
"Whether one might call it dominant or not dominant, it is important for us to come together as an international community, and this is a further step in that direction," he said.
Moreover, Powell said he did not know of any of his Security Council colleagues or the senior leadership of the UN who said, "We want to be the military commander."
Elaborating on the US proposal for an expanded role for the UN, he said there are two key elements -- the first is to invite the Governing Council to come forward with a timetable for Iraq's political evolution through the writing of a constitution and the conduct of free elections.
After free polls, Powell said, "You have the conditions for sovereignty so that they can assume sovereignty over their own country once again, and the Coalition Provisional
Authority and the military presence would be a matter of partnership between the new government... and whatever partners they wish to continue to help them."
The second element, he said, is an expanded role for the UN such as helping with reconstruction efforts, in generating more funds for reconstruction and assisting in the creation of an electoral system, an electoral process.
Observing that the UN has a number of agencies that bring great skill and experience to the task of nation building, the secretary of state said, "We believe by including this in the resolution, it will give a greater sense of purpose to the UN and give the UN more to work with."
While the response to the resolution he proposes is positive, Powell said, "Let me not overplay that. I have discovered with these resolutions thee is a large difference between an 'and' and an 'or'."
"There will be some discussions on the resolution that will be enlightening, intense and, hopefully, fruitful," he said. "We will demonstrate in Iraq that democracy can work in that part of the world."
Referring to the recent bombings in Iraq, Powell said, "It takes a level of sophistication, not brain surgery or PhD level work, but some planning, some reconnaissance, some sophistication in putting together a terror weapon and then planning to strike."
He, however, admitted that there are no 'answers yet'.