Vote on UN Iraq resolution delayed as US confident it will succeed
The United States picked up support from China and Pakistan for its new Iraq resolution late Wednesday, and thus predicted "a successful vote."
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte decided to delay Wednesday night's scheduled vote so the leaders of France, Russia and Germany could review the final draft and decide whether or not to back the resolution.
"What I want to stress is that there is real movement toward greater consensus in the council on the basis of our draft text," said Negroponte, the current Security Council president.
The resolution had been expected to get at least the minimum nine "yes" votes needed for adoption but with Pakistan saying it will vote "yes" and China indicating a positive response as well, it was likely to get at least 11 votes.
Only the votes of Russia, France, Germany and Syria appeared to be in doubt, The AP reported. The United States agreed to three amendments Moscow wanted in the latest text circulated Wednesday night. Washington hopes for German support as well.
A new draft circulated Wednesday night - the fifth U.S. draft - doesn't include the key demand in a package of amendments the three opponents of the U.S.-led war submitted on Tuesday - a timetable for the transfer of power to Iraqis.
But Washington did agree to give U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan greater scope to participate in the drafting of a new Iraqi constitution and the political transition, and to state for the first time that the mandate of the multinational force authorized by the resolution would expire when an Iraqi government is elected. The inclusion of these three amendments sought by Moscow fueled speculation that Russia will vote "yes."
"We are satisfied that these specific amendments were accepted by the sponsor," said Russia's U.N. Ambassador Sergey Lavrov. (Albawaba.com)
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