UN council split over Iraq

The United States is facing considerable resistance in its quest to recruit more troops, police and money to help rebuild Iraq.

    American soldiers have failed to keep the peace in Iraq

    France, Germany and Russia made it clear on Thursday that they still want greater international influence in Iraq's future.    

    But US Secretary of State Colin Powell has given no indication the Bush administration will relinquish military or other controls on the country's development.    

    The US is increasingly desperate to share the security and development burden in Iraq where its troops are getting bogged down in a guerrilla war.


    Michel Duclos, the deputy French ambassador, took the lead in criticizing the Bush administration on Thursday.


    He said it had not fulfilled its promise for an international board of advisors for a fund that would decide how to spend Iraqi oil monies. 


    "To share the burden and the responsibilities in a world of equal and sovereign nations, also means sharing information and authority," Duclos said.


    Powell says Iraq troops must
    remain under US command

    But British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw echoed Powell on the need for a unified military command under control of the United States, which has 150,000 troops in Iraq.


    Occupation force


    Powell stressed the US-led force in Iraq was already multinational, with 30 nations providing about 22,000 troops and more expected.


    But 11,000 of these troops are from Britain alone.


    Countries such as India, Pakistan and Turkey are reluctant to send troops without another UN mandate and some have doubts about serving under a US command.    


    Kofi Annan, the UN secretary general, himself again turned down any suggestion of organizing a blue-helmeted peacekeeping force.


    But he said he could visualize a multinational force "that oversees the security arrangements with the United Nations".

    SOURCE: Reuters


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