Iraq's new leaders lobby UN for full sovereignty

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The Independent Online

Iraq's incoming Foreign Minister arrives in New York today to lobby for a Security Council resolution that would put into practice Washington's promise of full sovereignty.

Iraq's incoming Foreign Minister arrives in New York today to lobby for a Security Council resolution that would put into practice Washington's promise of full sovereignty.

It is unclear if the Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, will demand any specific rewriting of the latest draft of the Iraq resolution, unveiled by its two sponsors, Britain and the United States, on Tuesday. But aides in Baghdad indicated that his purpose was to erase lingering doubts about what full sovereignty will really mean.

Concerns about the credibility of Washington's promise of full sovereignty were also voiced by Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawar, who emerged on Tuesday as the transitional President of Iraq. "We the Iraqis look forward to being granted full sovereignty through a Security Council resolution to enable us to rebuild a free, independent, democratic and federal unified homeland," he said.

The latest draft of the resolution, which will endorse the interim government and the theoretical termination of the foreign occupation of Iraq, was broadly welcomed by most Security Council members.

Significant changes in the new text include a promise that the Allied forces would leave once the political transition in Iraq is completed with a written constitution and the holding of direct national elections. That would imply the withdrawal of foreign troops by January 2006.

* US President George W. Bush yesterday compared his war on terror to America's mission in World War II while calling for a new era of reform to avoid the emergence of "terrorist-controlled states" in the oil-rich Middle East. In a speech to Air Force Academy graduates, Mr Bush said: "Now freedom is stirring in the Middle East and no one should bet against it."

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