Chirac rejects US draft on Iraq

French President Jacques Chirac on Saturday voiced his disappointment with the new US draft resolution on Iraq, saying it reflected little progress.

    President Chirac had been opposed to the US-led war

    Chirac's comments, coming a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the same draft as inadequate, is a blow to renewed US-efforts to push through a new resolution that would allow other countries to send in money and troops to Iraq.

    "I wont hide from you that it was a bit disappointment for us," Chirac told a news conference at a European summit.

    He said the new draft showed only "little progress" on contentious issues compared to the earlier text.

    Opposition

    Opposed to the war and Iraq's occupation, France and Russia have said they are unhappy with the latest draft which fails to set out a clear timetable for a quick handover of power to the Iraqis.

    Chirac, however, stressed that France was "ready to pursue discussions in an open and constructive atmosphere" on the draft, notably with Germany and Russia.

    He reiterated that France wanted a quick handover of power to the Iraqis and a central role for the United Nations in rebuilding Iraq.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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