Annan pours scorn on new U.S. draft resolution as blasts rock Iraqi city of Kirkuk
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Thursday a new U.S. draft resolution on Iraq does not follow his recommendation for a quick transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government.
The revised resolution endorses a step-by-step transfer of authority to an Iraqi interim administration but sets no timetable for the handover of sovereignty.
A quick formation of an interim Iraqi government will allow the United Nations to work directly with the government, and make it easier for other countries to contribute troops and money, the secretary-general has said according to U.N. diplomats.
"Obviously, it's not going in the direction I had recommended, but I will still have to study it further," Annan told reporters on Thursday, according to the AFP.
The revised U.S. draft, however, calls for a strengthened U.N. role in Iraq. A new resolution would authorize the United Nations to assist the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council in preparing a constitution and holding elections.
On his part, U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said he would like to see a resolution in place in advance of the donors conference for Iraq, to be held Oct. 23-24 in Madrid.
On the ground, six explosions rocked the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk Thursday evening, according to police Colonel Khattab Abdullah.
U.S. warplanes were heard hovering over the town minutes after the blasts, AFP reported, and American soldiers and local police began patrolling the city.
"At least six explosions caused by rocket propelled grenades and mortars" shook several parts of the city within 20 minutes, Abdullah stated, adding that there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Jalal Talabani, a leading member of Iraq's Governing Council, was quoted as saying on Wednesday that former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was reportedly seen in Kirkuk five days ago and is moving in increasingly smaller circles in order to evade capture. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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