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Security Council will chart way forward on Iraq

Annan hopeful meetings with Security Council members will chart way forward in Iraq

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today he hoped to meet this weekend with the Foreign Ministers of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council as part of the effort to bridge differences on the way forward in Iraq.

That meeting, planned for Saturday in Geneva, as well as the one he held Monday in New York with the Council's full membership, are all part of a "solution to the issues of Iraq that we are discussing now," the Secretary-General told a news conference at UN Headquarters.

"The question of greater United Nations involvement [in Iraq], or the United Nations playing a leading role in the political area, is…something that several Member States have put forward, believing that this will bring greater legitimacy to the process and acceptability to the region," Mr. Annan said.

"An essential part of the discussion is also to try to establish an Iraqi administration that will be responsible for running its own affairs; it is not so much for the United Nations to go in and take over the administration and management of Iraq, but for us to ensure that we accelerate the establishment of a Government and the transfer of authority and to have the Iraqis run their own affairs, as indicated in the Security Council resolution," he added.

The Secretary-General noted that in situations where UN Member States have come together to deal with a crisis situation and establish a new political order, the United Nations has often run the political facilitation process and that his Special Representative has often led that process.

"If Member States, by coming together to deal with Iraq, want to see that model - whether the model of Afghanistan, Kosovo or East Timor - they are all on the table for discussion, and the United Nations has had good experience in these areas," he said.

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