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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 November, 2003, 00:11 GMT
Hillary Clinton makes Iraq visit
Jack Reed (middle) and Hillary Clinton with US troops
Both senators called for more UN involvement in Iraq
Hot on the heels of George W Bush, former first lady Hillary Clinton flew into Iraq to meet US troops.

She said she wanted to thank US soldiers for their "extraordinary work" and to highlight humanitarian projects set up by the US.

She was accompanied by Senator Jack Reed, a Democrat from Rhode Island.

On Friday, a US soldier was killed in the northern city of Mosul when insurgents shelled a military base, according to reports.

'Hearts and minds'

"I have heard some wonderful stories about the kind of work that captains and majors are doing out there helping people... I think that this is a story that needs to get out," New York Senator Mrs Clinton said.

Hillary Clinton with an Iraqi civilian working for the US army in Baghdad
Hillary praised the work being done by the coalition in Iraq
"What is important from our experience in the Balkans and our experience now in Iraq is that it's no longer enough for our military, the most powerful in the history of the world, to win the battle - they have to also win the war for hearts and minds."

Both the senators said the governance of Iraq would be made easier with greater UN involvement.

"I'm a big believer that we ought to internationalise this, but it will take a big change in our administration's thinking. I don't see that it's forthcoming," Mrs Clinton said.

Shia influence

Mr Reed described as a "critical factor" the need for support from the majority Shia community, including Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

The ayatollah has said he wants an elected Iraqi provisional government instead of one appointed by regional blocs, which is an idea presently on the table.

Hillary Clinton (C) talks during a meeting with Iraqi Minister of Public Works Nasrin Berwari (L) and Governing Council member Rajaa Khuzai.
Clinton also met prominent Iraqi women
"A quick, hasty election might bring to power a person who doesn't share the values we're trying to encourage. But the more we wait, the more it looks like an occupation," Mr Reed said.

Mr Reed had voted against the war in Iraq while Mrs Clinton had supported a resolution granting Mr Bush authority to invade the country.

Iraqis are divided over the significance of the previous day's flying visit made by Mr Bush.

"We cannot consider Bush's arrival at Baghdad International Airport yesterday as a visit to Iraq," said Mahmoud Othman, a member of the Iraqi Governing Council.

"He did not meet with ordinary Iraqis. Bush was only trying to boost the morale of his troops."




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