Arab League members not recognize Iraq's Council; Annan says U.N. should establish mission in Baghdad
Arab League members decided Tuesday not to recognize Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council, saying they will wait until a government is elected.
The decision Tuesday was an indication that many in Iraq and across the Arab world dismissed the council as a puppet of Iraq's U.S. and British occupiers. The decision means Iraq's seat at the 22-member Arab League will remain empty for the time being.
"The council is a start, but it should pave the way for a legitimate government that can be recognized," league Secretary-General Amr Moussa said after a committee of foreign ministers met to forge a unified stance on how to deal with Iraq.
The Iraqi Governing Council did not send representatives to Tuesday's meeting in Cairo.
In Cairo Tuesday, Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak, said Arab countries will work to help Iraqis restore "sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity." According to AP, the Bahraini minister said Arab countries still want to take part in lucrative reconstruction projects in Iraq.
Meanwhile, Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday to recognize the Iraqi Governing Council as a step toward the formation of a true government.
Annan also said the Security Council should establish a U.N. mission in Iraq and he chided the members for failing to say anything about the 25-member Governing Council after three of its members addressed a Security Council meeting on July 22.
Spain circulated a draft statement after that meeting welcoming the Governing Council as an important first step toward the formation of an internationally recognized government in Iraq. But it was not adopted because of differing views among the 15 council nations. (Albawaba.com)
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