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Last Updated: Monday, 13 October, 2003, 21:15 GMT 22:15 UK
New Iraq resolution under scrutiny
A US soldier secures the area near a fire fuelled by spent ammunition outside Sadr City
The US wants other nations to provide money and troops for Iraq
Members of the United Nations Security Council are examining a new version of a US draft resolution for the political and economic reconstruction of Iraq.

The latest text sets a deadline of 15 December for Iraq's US-appointed Governing Council to submit a timetable for drawing up a new constitution and subsequent elections.

The US resolution has been redrafted to win international support after an earlier text failed to draw broad backing.

However, it retains an over-arching role for the occupying powers and keeps the same political sequence - constitution first, then elections - that has been criticised by some Security Council members.

US administration asking Congress for $20.3bn emergency non-military spending
Expected commitments: Japan $5bn, UK $910m, Canada $300m, European Union $233m

France, Germany and Russia have called for a quick transfer of power in Iraq. The French and German foreign ministers have welcomed the new proposal as a step forward although Paris noted it needed further study.

The German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, said: "Whether it will be successful in the end is too early to predict."

But he said Germany would "proceed in a very constructive way".

The new draft showed "progress", said French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin.

"The real question is whether this progress is enough for the situation in Iraq," he said, as he attended a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

World Bank/UN estimate - $36bn: Covers administration, health, education, employment, infrastructure, water agriculture
US estimate - $19bn: Covers security, oil industry, foreign affairs, culture and religious affairs, environment
France, which has the power to veto resolutions, had said it would not support the previous draft resolution, though President Jacques Chirac said he would not vote it down.

The new text is being co-sponsored by the UK and Spain, who both contributed to the resolution.

US Ambassador John Negroponte, who holds the Security Council's rotating presidency for October, said the US would seek a vote on the resolution this week.

The proposed resolution, a copy of which has been obtained by the BBC, says the UN "should strengthen its vital role in Iraq" by providing humanitarian assistance, promoting economic reconstruction and helping to restore "institutions for representative governments".

Earlier this month, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed unusual criticism of the earlier draft, privately telling diplomats that the UN would not accept the limited political role proposed by the US.


The US had been keen to table the resolution before a donors' conference in Madrid on 24 October, which aims to raise some of the $55bn which the World Bank says is required for Iraq's reconstruction.

Foreign investment and profit taking could be seen as Western plundering
Toby, Spain

European Union foreign ministers, meeting in Luxembourg, have endorsed a European Commission pledge of 200m euros ($236m).

But individual member states are expected to make additional donations to boost the fund.

UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw told the ministers on Monday the UK would provide 550m ($910m) for Iraqi reconstruction over three years, including contributions to EU and other funds.

He urged other countries to pay up.

But the Netherlands said it had already committed troops and would not be providing additional cash and Germany said it had not yet made any decision.

The BBC's James Ingham
"America will be hoping it has done enough to get the United Nations onside"

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