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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 June, 2004, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK
Iraq vote gives G8 fresh impetus
By Jill McGivering
BBC correspondent in Georgia

President Bush and his wife Laura arrive in Georgia
Bush said a free Iraq would be a catalyst for the whole Middle East
The passing of the UN Security Council resolution on Iraq comes as G8 leaders gather in the United States for their annual summit.

The timing of the vote gives fresh focus to the summit in Georgia.

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was one of the first to respond, hailing it as an important milestone for Iraq.

He emphasised the international endorsement of the interim government in Iraq, which the new resolution represented.

"The people of Iraq now know that the world community is united in helping them take charge of their future," Mr Blair said.


This show of international unity on Iraq has been long-awaited and hard to achieve.

It is still uncertain what the practical results will be.

For example, what will countries previously opposed to the US-led invasion of Iraq now be willing to offer in terms of cash for reconstruction and troops for the multi-national force?

Earlier, President Bush told reporters a free Iraq would serve as a catalyst for the broader Middle East, a process he called an important part of winning the war on terror.

The resolution may also give fresh impetus to US determination to press for G8 support in the next few days for its own programme of political reform in the Middle East region.

The news may also make sure that Iraq and the Middle East take centre stage here despite the efforts of other parts of the world, such as Africa, to compete for attention.

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