Russian diplomat for roadmap to Iraq

A precise schedule of restoring Iraq's sovereignty is necessary to stabilise the situation in that country, Russia's permanent representative to the UN Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday.

"If we want the Iraqis to restore their sovereignty, just declaring that is not enough," Lavrov said. "We should work out a programme of restoring this sovereignty." "It would contain the timeframe for forming a transitional government, a constitutional assembly, preparing the constitution and election of permanent international recognised Iraqi authorities." "When we get this schedule, we can speak about multinational forces to ensure its secure implementation," Lavrov told the Izvestia newspaper.

According to him, the situation in Iraq is worsening. The US is losing in Iraq as many soldiers as the USSR did in Afghanistan. Provided the UN plays a co-ordinating role in Iraq, the international community can assist with stabilising the situation." "If we achieve this, many will give both money and troops," the diplomat added.

Lavrov pointed to the closeness of the UN member-states' positions on Iraq, the differences being merely related to organisational issues. For instance, "the French want all executive functions to be handed to the Iraqis right now. And we believe that the Iraqis should not be proposed decision at which they can arrive themselves, on a tribal or any other basis," Lavrov said.

"What counts most is the realising by all UN Security Council members that the resolution is not just another protocol document, a sheet of paper by which politicians will rationalise their actions. It is a decision on which the world community's strategy in Iraq depends, a strategy adopted on a principally different basis than the current one," the Russian representative concludes.

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