Criticising changes that the Iraqi parliament made on Sunday to rules for this month's constitutional referendum as "patently inappropriate," Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the transition process in the war-torn country has not "worked as we had hoped."
Under the interim constitution, the referendum will come into force if half the votes cast nationwide are in favour, but go down in defeat if two thirds of the votes in three of the war-torn country's 18 regions are against it.
Sunday's action raised the bar in the latter clause to mean two thirds of all registered voters, not just those voting, while leaving the nationwide stipulation as it was.
"I think it is very important that the Iraqi parliament reversed itself, because that decision was patently inappropriate and we made that clear to them," Annan said.
Annan voiced the hope that the Iraqis will find a process of reconciling and maintaining a united and peaceful Iraq, the AP reports.
An intense movement of NATO aircraft was reported at Poland's Rzeszow airfield near the Ukrainian border