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U.N. Peacekeepers to Iraq in "Discussion Phase"

Negroponte Says Sending U.N. Peacekeepers to Iraq in "Discussion Phase"

Says there is no current plan to propose new Security Council resolution

By Judy Aita
Washington File United Nations Correspondent

United Nations -- The United States is engaged in discussions but has no current plans to propose a new resolution to put peacekeeping forces in Iraq under a U.N. mandate, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte said July 16.

Negroponte said U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell discussed the possibility in Washington earlier in the week.

"Under resolution 1483 which lifted sanctions, operative paragraph 1 of that resolution -- the very first paragraph -- calls on member states to contribute in various ways to assist Iraq, including assisting in stabilizing in the situation. So, we feel for any country that has the political desire or political will to contribute forces to stabilization in Iraq there is ample scope within the existing framework of resolution 1483," said Negroponte, the chief U.S. envoy to the U.N.

"It is true that some countries have raised the question of whether or not that is adequate from their point of view," the ambassador continued. "There have been some discussions about the possibility of another mandate of some kind" between the United States and other nations bilaterally, but not in the council.

Talking with journalists after a private Security Council meeting with the secretary general, Negroponte insisted, "there have simply been discussions at this point."

"There is an awareness that there are some countries (that) if they were to contribute forces for the stabilization of Iraq feel that an additional mandate would be required and ... there have been some discussions as to that possibility," he said.

The United States does not have any proposals on a resolution to make and "there is no specific proposal on the table at this moment," the ambassador said.

Annan said he discussed the matter with U.S. officials in Washington, adding that the Security Council as a whole will have to take up the issue.

"What is important is that all of us accept the responsibility of stabilizing Iraq because a peaceful and stable Iraq is in the interest,not only of the Iraqis but of the region and the entire world," Annan said.

"We had divisions before the war and governments held their views with conviction, but I think now that the war is over, we should focus on stabilizing and building a peaceful and prosperous Iraq," the secretary general said.

Annan also said that in his report to the council on Iraq on July 22, he will not include a recommendation that the council consider a resolution to internationalize operations in Iraq under the United Nations.

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