UN Security Council seeks compromise on new resolution on Iraq

The Foreign Ministers of five permanent member states of the UN Security Council will try to reach a compromise today on a new resolution on Iraq, which has been drawn up by the U.S. The meeting of the Foreign Ministers of Russia, Britain, China, France and the U.S. will be held today in Geneva at the initiative of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.

Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov called this meeting topical, for in his view, the present worsening of the situation in Iraq requires a quick response on the part of the international community.

The draft resolution provides for deployment of multinational forces under UN auspices. Though the resolution evoked different responses in the Security Council, most of its members regarded it as a good basis for talks.

In Ivanov's view, the provisions in the U.S. draft resolution reflect advancement towards the principles of settlement on which Russia insists. Moscow comes out in the first place for the earliest restoration of Iraq's sovereignty and suggests adopting a concrete program of movement towards this goal, a kind of a "roadmap" for Iraq. It would be necessary to fix in such a program the time for forming a provisional government for the transitional period, drawing up a constitution, and conducting elections of permanent Iraqi authorities that would be recognized in the world. And the UN should play a central role in the settlement.

The Russian Foreign Minister said on the eve of the Geneva meeting that Moscow does not object to the U.S. heading the multinational forces in Iraq on the condition that the activities of these forces would be conducted with due account of the UN mandate.

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