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China Proposes Changes to UN Iraq Resolution - 2004-05-27


The United States and Britain are facing calls by key members of the UN Security Council for significant changes to their proposed new resolution on Iraq.

At a closed door meeting of the Council Wednesday, China joined France, Russia and Germany in seeking revisions to the U.S. and British backed draft.

China, France and Russia have veto power in the Security Council, as do the United States and Britain.

Among the changes the four countries want are provisions spelling out in more detail the powers of an interim Iraqi government due to assume sovereignty by June 30th.

They also want a UN resolution to set a deadline for the U.S.-led multi-national force to leave Iraq and to give Iraqis the authority to reject major military operations.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair (Wednesday) downplayed reports of differences with the United States over how much influence the future Iraqi government should have on operations by coalition troops.

Mr. Blair said both countries agree that full sovereignty should be transferred to the Iraqi people and that the multinational force should remain under U.S. command once an interim government takes power.

Meanwhile, the UN envoy working to put together an interim government says former Iraqi Shi'ite nuclear scientist Hussain Shahristani does not want to become prime minister. Lakhdar Brahimi was responding to reports that Mr. Shahristani was a leading candidate for the post.

Mr. Brahimi said he is sure Mr. Shahristani could serve a new Iraqi government well. But he said Mr. Shahristani has clarified that he would prefer to serve his country "in other ways."

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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