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Annan, Powell, Rice Discuss Iraq

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan met in Washington Thursday, for talks that focused mainly on Iraq.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Mr. Annan said U.N. efforts to help Iraq prepare for upcoming elections are "on track."

Mr. Annan has said he will boost the number of U.N. staffers in Iraq, most of whom he withdrew last year after the bombing of the U.N. headquarters in Baghdad.

Mr. Powell said the United States "has confidence" in the secretary-general, who has come under fire for scandals that plagued the U.N. oil-for-food program for Iraq.

The two men said their talks also covered Afghanistan, Sudan and Haiti.

Mr. Annan meets next with Condoleezza Rice, who President Bush has nominated to be Mr. Powell's successor. Later, he speaks to an independent group, the Council on Foreign Relations.