The US, which has rejected rapidly handing Iraq back to the Iraqis under a UN timetable, is seeking backing from the international body to enlist help and ease the strain on US-led occupation forces.
   
“It will help some countries which still have some doubts about their own position,” an unidentified UN official told Reuters on the sidelines of a donor discussion.

“A pat on the back from the UN is always very useful,” he added.

US plea

A UN-sponsored pledging conference is due to take place in Madrid on 23-24 October.
   
Faced with mounting casualties and a sky-rocketing bill in Iraq, the US wants the 15-member Security Council to authorise a multinational force so that other countries can help share the

“It will help some countries which still have some doubts about their own position”

UN official

reconstruction costs.

Still, the illegality of the US-led invasion has meant that France, Germany, Russia amongst others have demanded America should implement a timetable for restoring Iraqi sovereignty. They have also insisted on a larger role for the UN.
 
US President George Bush urged other nations to share the burden of rebuilding Iraq at the UN General Assembly on Tuesday and rejected a speedy transfer of power to Iraqis.

Cash

“In New York there is an intensive discussion about a new resolution and I hope it comes with positive results,” Iraqi Planning Minister Mahdi Hafiz also said a new UN resolution would push donors to produce more cash, according to Reuters.
 
The US government has estimated that the rebuilding bill could cost as much as $75 billion.