New Resolution on Iraq Close to Agreement
By Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTION, June 6, 2004 The United States is close to reaching agreement with U.N. members on a new resolution supporting Iraq, two of President Bush's top advisers said today.
During an interview on "Fox News Sunday," Condoleezza Rice said that the United States is "very close" to an agreement.
Secretary of State Colin Powell told CBS' "Face the Nation" the new resolution "first and foremost" will endorse returning full sovereignty to the Iraqi people by June 30.
Rice said the president talked with French President (Jacques) Chirac on the resolution while he was in France June 5-6 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of D-Day. "I think it's fully understood that we have agreement on most of the major issues," she said.
She pointed out that some drafting issues have to be worked out on the resolution. However, she is "quite certain that within a few days we are going to be able to come to conclusion, and it's a good thing."
She said that Iraqis deserve to know the international community supports their new government, and "is ready to rally around this new government as it tries to bring peace and stability to Iraq so that Iraq can carry out the next phase in its transition to a better political life."
"That's why it's important to have the Security Council resolution, and I have no reason to believe that we're not going to have one, really, very shortly."
Powell told "Face the Nation" that the resolution means that on June 30, "Ambassador (Paul) Bremer, having done a brilliant job, will go home."
"And the government as you now know it, in the person of Ambassador Bremer, and the Coalition Provisional Authority will go," he said. He said an interim Iraqi government will take over along with the principal task of running the country and preparing for elections in December or January.
Powell noted that the coalition will keep a significant military in force to give the Iraqi government "the security it needs, and give the Iraqi people the security they need as they move to elections."
He also re-emphasized that the resolution says "full sovereignty."
"There is now going to be an interim government, and they have all the authority," he said. He added that the resolution puts in place arrangements for the U.S. military force to remain in Iraq.
"The new Iraqi government, has asked for us to stay," he said. "So we've worked out the arrangements, and they'll be reflected by reference in the resolution."
In addition, Powell said that the resolution will ask other nations to consider how much more they can give with respect "to troops, or money, or reconstruction efforts, or police training."
"[There are] so many ways that nations can contribute to the Iraqi people so that they can build their democracy," he said.
Although France, Russia and Germany appear ready to support the new resolution, Rice said it is not clear whether those countries will offer military troops to help with Iraq's security if needed. She pointed out that the notion of "large- scale" increases in foreign force is probably not "in the cards."
She said that what the Iraqis have emphasized is "that there are a number of security tasks that they can do on their own if they can get the support of the international community for training."
"The key here is that Iraqis are stepping up to deal with their own security," she said.
Then again, she emphasized that the focus on more foreign troops in Iraq is, in fact, "misplaced."
"What we need to do is keep the coalition there to help them fight the insurgents, fight the terrorists, but also help Iraqis to get trained so that they can take care of their own security needs."
Rice told "Fox News Sunday" that the reason the U.S. is lobbying hard for international support for the resolution is that the strongest message that could be sent to those who oppose Iraq's sovereignty is a "unified message of the international community that this government is supported, the multinational force is supported, and Iraq's future is well on its way."