"The US draft is moving toward principles (supported by Russia) but for them to be outlined (in the resolution) in full, the document needs very serious work," Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told reporters in Tashkent.

  

"This initiative deserves attention because the draft resolution in part reflects principles that Russia had been repeatedly fighting for," Ivanov said.

 

Earlier, France and Germany rejected Washington's latest proposal for a UN resolution on Iraq.

Having opposed the US-led war on Iraq earlier, the two countries on Thursday labelled as inadequate the new US proposal that calls for the creation of a multinational force for Iraq.

"Really, it appears some way from the principal goal which is the transfer of authority to an Iraqi government as soon as possible," French President Jacques Chirac said at a press-conference alongside German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Despite France and Germany’s opposition, some country’s such as Mexico and Chile, both of whom were opposed to the US-led invasion of Iraq, said the draft resolution was a positive first step.

 

It’s a significant step in the right direction,” Mexican ambassador Adolfo  Aguilar Zinser told AFP.

He said the proposals showed movement in the US position but did not go far enough. Iraq, suffering a wave of resistance attacks, needed stability and democracy.

"Such a perspective can only develop if the United Nations takes over responsibility for the political process and if an Iraqi administration is installed," Schroeder said.

Under attack almost daily from Iraqi resistance fighters, the US is seeking to press the UN to authorise a multinational force for restoring order in Iraq. It also invites the US-backed Iraqi Governing Council to draw up a timetable for the holding of democratic elections.

But both the French and German leaders stayed as unimpressed with the US as they were before the war.

"Really, it appears some way from the principal goal which is the transfer of authority to an Iraqi government as soon as possible"

Jacques Chirac, French President



The two have always stressed the warring coalition must take responsibility for rebuilding Iraq, instead of passing on the task to others.

"In truth, I think the same as Chirac does, that the proposal doesn’t go far enough, that its not dynamic enough," Schroeder said.

Stung by the outright rejection, US Secretary of State Colin Powell said the draft for the new resolution was better than anything France or Germany had proposed.

"I think the resolution is drafted in a way that deals with the concerns that leaders such as President Chirac and Chancellor Schroeder have raised in the past," Powell said.

"If they have suggestions, we would be more than happy to listen to those suggestions," he added.

But bridging the differences would be easier said than done.

France and Germany have always been opposed to attempts to legitimise the war with a new UN resolution.