Annan studies UN interference in Iraq
Iraq-UN, Politics, 1/21/2004
Nws reports say that the UN secretary general Kofi Annan is studying a request proposed by the UN and the Iraqi Interim Governing council to send a UN team to Iraq in order to discuss the possibility of making early elections before authority transfer.
New York on Monday hosted a first round of tripartite meetings between the UN general assembly, the American- British coalition authority and the Iraqi Interim Governing Council in order to discuss the return back of the UN to Iraq and its role in the political operation.
The decision of the UN experts will help to alleviating tension between the USA and the Shiite Higher reference in Iraq, Ayatullah Ali al-Seistani, concerning the best means to transfer authority for the Iraqis before June 30.
Annan remarked his intention to agree the idea, but he persisted on the need to ensure security for the UN team. Annan said following the talks with the American administrator of Iraq, Paul Bremer, and his British counterpart, Jeremy Greenstock, and members in the Iraq Governing Council in New York that he had received a request to send a technical mission to Iraq to "give consultation on the possibility of making elections or possible alternatives if necessary," noting that he has not taken a decision to this effect and it is necessary to make more discussions over sending the team.
Annan stressed that discussions concentrate on the extent of the available technical, political and security conditions to make general elections directly in a nearby date.
However, in a press conference in New York, Bremer expressed his hope in a quick return for the UN to Iraq, noting that the UN experience in the elections would permit drawing outlines for the elections.
Worthy mentioning that al-Seisatni demands direct elections immediately to choose a provisional government, while the occupation authority, led by the US, demands the foundation of a new national society through the system of election conferences before the formation of a provisional government by the end of June, to be followed by a drawn constitution and plans for the elections, in order to form a permanent government by the end of 2005.
The demands to making the elections extended to the streets of Baghdad. Some 100,000 Iraqis demonstrated in a peaceful demonstration in Baghdad on Monday in support of al-Seistani. Massive demonstrations also renewed yesterday.
Participants in the demonstration which took place on Monday, hours before New York meeting said that the demonstration is a message addressed to the meeting. The demonstration included Arabs, Kurds, Shiite, Sunni and Christians.
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