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UN to receive draft US resolution-Iraq tomorrow

Security Council to receive draft US resolution on Iraq tomorrow – President

The United States is expected to present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council tomorrow calling for the lifting of sanctions on Iraq and dealing with the UN role there, with consultations on the text to possibly begin early next week.

“I’m sure that most Council members will wish to transmit this to their authorities and the authorities would have the whole weekend to study it,” Pakistani Ambassador Munir Akram, Council President for May, told reporters after a Council meeting today on the humanitarian situation Iraq. “So I expect that come early next week, some sort of process of consultations is likely to begin on the draft resolution.”

Earlier, United States Ambassador John Negroponte told reporters the UN would have an “important, vital” role, and he hoped the resolution would be passed within two weeks, but at the very latest by 3 June, the expiry date of the Oil-for-Food programme under which Iraq was able to sell oil to purchase food and other humanitarian supplies.

Asked what role a UN representative in Iraq would play, he said it would be constructive. “That will be an important and a vital role as was said by both President Bush and Prime Minister Blair at the Hillsborough meeting,” he added, referring to last month’s summit between the US and British leaders in Northern Ireland.

Mr. Negroponte said he did not see any role for UN weapons inspectors in Iraq for the foreseeable future. Other Council members have said the inspectors, withdrawn on the eve of war, should return to search for banned weapons of mass destruction.

At today’s meeting, the Council was briefed by Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette on the humanitarian situation in Iraq. “This report both has encouraging aspects, as well as some issues of concern, but it is an indication of the active role that the United Nations is resuming in Iraq and we trust that this role will be of benefit to the Iraqi people,” Mr. Akram said.

Asked what the concerns were, he replied: “Concerns with regard to looting, the water and sanitation still has to be fully re-established, some reports of outbreak of cholera which has to be contained.”

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