On Friday Allawi made an appeal for international support, particularly in the fight against the "terrorists" he said were trying to wreak havoc in Iraq after the dismissal of Saddam Hussein.

"Our struggle is your struggle; our victory will be your victory. And if we are defeated, it will be your defeat," he said in a speech to the UN General Assembly on Friday.

"I appeal to all representatives from the countries gathered here to help Iraq defeat the forces of terrorism and help Iraq build a better future for the people of Iraq," he added.

Washington talks

Allawi's appearance before the world body came after a high-profile visit to Washington for talks with US President George Bush and other officials, as both the United States and Iraq grapple with a major uprising.

Allawi: Post-war chaos should not
be obstacle to international help

Facing an audience filled with many nations who bitterly opposed the US-led war, Allawi said differences about the US-led invasion, and Bush's handling of the post-war chaos, should not be an obstacle to international help.

Allawi also took aim at "foreigners who infiltrated Iraq from neighbouring countries" to take part in the insurgency that has complicated Iraq's baby steps towards self-rule, in particular elections scheduled for January.

"We are committed to this timeline despite the complexities and difficulties, and we are capable of meeting that deadline thanks to your help," said Allawi.

"Holding the elections is a vital and necessary matter to improve the security situation in Iraq. We hope that all Iraqis will participate in those elections," he said.

Credible elections

After his speech, Allawi met UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who earlier this month cast doubt on whether credible elections could be held in Iraq, given the uncertain security situation.

Kofi Annan(R) has his doubts
about holding credible elections 

Allawi said he was confident all Iraqis would be able to take part in January elections, rejecting fears that security issues could preclude voting in some areas.

"There is no partial election, there will be one election. All Iraqis will be able to vote," Allawi said after meeting Annan.

He stressed that Annan had promised to do his best to help with the electoral process. "That is what we agreed upon," he said.

UN personnel are helping prepare the election, but no nations have yet committed troops for a planned force dedicated to protecting the UN staff.