Ahead of address on Iraq: Bush encourages UN role in monitoring elections, writing constitution
In an interview to be aired Monday, US President George W. Bush said he would accept UN help writing Iraq's new constitution and monitoring future elections, but remained unapologetic about launching the war that resulted in the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
U.S. President George W. Bush is due to defend the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq when he addresses the United Nations Tuesday, but he says he's open to the possibility of giving the world body a role in overseeing postwar elections.
Still, the U.S. leader claims he's not sure his country will have to yield a significantly larger role to make way for a new U.N. resolution on Iraq.
Furthermore, he continued to insist on an orderly transfer of authority to the Iraqis rather than the quick action demanded by France.
"I do think it would be helpful to get the United Nations in to help write a constitution," Bush said in an interview taped Sunday with Fox News. "I mean, they're good at that."
"Or, perhaps when an election starts, they'll oversee the election. That would be deemed a larger role," he said.
In the interview, Bush said he will declare in his speech this week at the UN General Assembly that he "made the right decision and the others that joined us made the right decision" to invade Iraq.
However, the president said he will ask other nations to do more to help stabilize Iraq.
"We would like a larger role for member states of the United Nations to participate in Iraq," Bush said in the interview.
"I mean, after all, we've got member states now, Great Britain and Poland, leading multinational divisions to help make the country more secure."
Asked if he was willing for the United Nations to play a larger role in the political developments in Iraq to get a new resolution, Bush responded, "I'm not so sure we have to, for starters."
But he added he did think it would be helpful to get U.N. help in writing a constitution for Iraq.
"The key on any resolution," Bush said, "is not to get in the way of an orderly transfer of sovereignty based upon a logical series of steps. And that's constitution, elections, and then the transfer of authority."
He said the United Nations has a chance to do more as a result of U.N. resolution 1441.
The United States argues that U.N. resolution 1441, passed unanimously in November, provided sufficient authority for the U.S.-led war. That resolution threatened Baghdad with "serious consequences" if it failed to show it had handed over or destroyed its weapons of mass destruction.
"That's the resolution that said if you don't disarm there will be serious consequences," he said. "At least somebody (the United States) stood up and said this is a definition of serious consequences."
Bush made clear he will tell the international community he has no regrets about going to war against Iraq.
"I will make it clear that I made the right decision and the others that joined us made the right decision," he said. "The world is a better place without Saddam Hussein." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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