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UN Teams Dispatched To Iraq

Security Council Hails Dispatch Of UN Teams To Help With Political Transition In Iraq

Ahead of the planned transfer of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government on 30 June, the Security Council today strongly supported Secretary-General Kofi Annan's decision to send United Nations experts to Iraq to help with the handover of power and future elections.

"The Security Council calls on all parties in Iraq to cooperate fully with these United Nations teams, and welcomes the security and other support provided to them by the Iraqi Governing Council and the CPA [Coalition Provisional Authority," the current Council President, Ambassador Jean-Marc de La Sablière of France, said in a statement delivered at an open meeting.

The Secretary-General's Special Adviser, Lakhdar Brahimi and his aides, along with an electoral assistance team, will head to Iraq "as soon as possible," according to the statement.

They will assist the Iraqi people in the formation of an interim Iraqi Government to receive sovereignty on 30 June while supporting preparations for direct elections "to be held before the end of January 2005," the President said.

Mr. Annan's decision to return the UN to Iraq came after an exchange of letters last week with the Iraqi Governing Council in which the interim President of that body, Mohammed Bahr Al-Uloom, wrote of its continuing belief that the world body must play an important role in Iraq.

The Secretary-General also received a similar letter from the Administrator of the United States-led CPA, L. Paul Bremer, expressing the belief that the UN has a significant role to play in assisting Iraq. Both letters voiced hope that the UN would return to the country as soon as possible.

© Scoop Media

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