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Arab League, Iraqi Vice President Reject US Senate Resolution on Iraq


The Arab League and Iraq's Shi'ite vice president have rejected a U.S. Senate resolution calling for the creation of a loose, de-centralized system of government in Iraq.

An official with the 22-nation Arab League, Ali al-Garoush, said Thursday the plan runs against Arab interests.

Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi, one of Iraq's two vice presidents, said it is up to Iraqis to decide the future of their country.

The non-binding resolution, which passed Wednesday, calls for a political settlement that would essentially divide Iraq into three ethnic, semi-autonomous regions controlled by Sunni Arabs, Shi'ites and Kurds.

The central government in Baghdad would protect Iraq's borders and distribute oil revenues among the regions.

Delaware Senator Joseph Biden, who is seeking next year's Democratic presidential nomination, introduced the measure . He says the plan offers a practical solution in Iraq that could allow U.S. troops to eventually leave that country.

The resolution attracted the support of 26 Republican senators, but is non-binding on President Bush.

The Senate also passed a non-binding resolution Wednesday urging the State Department to designate Iran's Revolutionary Guard as a foreign terrorist group. The resolution was co-sponsored by Connecticut's Joe Lieberman, who dismissed criticism from some Democrats that it authorizes military force against Tehran.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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