France, Russia reject US Iraq draft

US efforts to push through a new UN draft resolution on Iraq received a setback on Friday with France and Russia dismissing it.

    The UN Security Council is divided over the US resolution

    Both France and Russia said they were not satisfied with the new draft, which if passed would pave the way for other countries to pump in troops and money to rebuild Iraq.

    "Our first impression is that our concerns are only reflected in this revised project in a very limited measure and that this revised project does not incorporate the change in approach that we are advocating," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous said.

    Ladsous reiterated the French position that a provisional Iraqi government be established as soon as possible and that it be gradually empowered with executive powers under UN supervision.

    Russian criticism

    Russia too voiced its opposition to the new draft resolution, though it expressed willingness in striking a compromise with Washington.

    "We are not satisfied with the draft by our American partners, though they are trying to find a compromise," Russian President Vladimir Putin told an audience at a World Economic Forum meet in Moscow.

    "We are not satisfied with the draft by our American partners, though they are trying to find a compromise"

    Vlamidir Putin
    Russian President

    "I believe that if we are guided by these principles we can expect to find such a compromise," he said.

    Putin stressed that the UN Security Council resolution "must give the international community greater possibility for taking part in the rebirth of Iraq."

    The Russian president  also took a dig at the US, hinting without mentioning names that the Iraqis trusted Russians more than the Americans.

    "The population of Iraq has greater trust in its traditional partners that in those who currently control the situation there," he said.

    Opposed to the war, Russia together with France and Germany now wants a speedy transfer of power in Iraq to a properly elected Iraqi authority.

    But  with Washington reluctant to loosen its grip, differences are yet to be bridged.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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