Maher: Egypt not to send forces to Iraq even with UN approval
Egypt-Iraq, Politics, 9/27/2003
Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said on Thursday that Egypt will not send forces to Iraq even if the UN Security Council mandates the formation of multi-national forces to carry out peacekeeping mission there.
Maher told the CNN that there is no intention to send Egyptian forces to Iraq. He added that Egypt does not think that such a step will be useful in returning stability to Iraq.
Iraq is not in need of more forces but rather more political work, Maher said, adding that Egypt is ready to train Iraqi police and provide any assistance necessary in this respect. Maher said Egypt could contribute to improving the situation in Iraq by training Iraqi police.
On the Arab League's stance on Iraq's Interim Governing Council (IGC), Maher said the pan-Arab organization did not recognize the council but only agreed to allow it to represent Iraq at its meetings.
Such a stance will encourage the council to work for regaining Iraq's sovereignty and handing over power to Iraqis as quickly as possible, he added.
Whether he believes that the US decision to remove former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was right, Maher said Egypt does not regret the departure of Saddam but it has its own views on the issue.
Egypt believes that the UN must have a central role in Iraq, he said, expressing Egypt's readiness to do all efforts to this end.
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