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Bush and Blair on U.N. role in Post-War Iraq - 2003-04-07


U.S. President George W. Bush is in northern Ireland for two days of talks with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. They are to discuss the role the United Nations will play in post-war Iraq. Amy Katz has more on the third summit in less than a month between the two leaders.

While the fighting in Iraq raged on — and the damage from it became more evident Monday — President Bush arrived in Belfast, Northern Ireland for the summit with the British Prime Minister.

He and Mr. Blair started the two days of talks with a working dinner at Hillsborough Castle Monday evening. The main issue to be discussed — the role of the United Nations in post-war Iraq.

The Bush administration says the U.S.-led coalition should take responsibility for administering Iraq during the immediate post-war period. Mr. Blair is pushing for a stronger role for the U.N.

In New York Monday, U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan called a closed meeting of the Security Council to discuss the U.N. role in Iraq’s future. He says he expects it to be a leading role.

KOFI ANNAN, U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL
“The U.N. has had a good experience in this area, whether it’s an issue of political facilitation leading to the emergence of a new or interim administration. We’ve done quite a bit of work on reconstruction working with donor countries and with other U.N. agencies. You have seen the work the U.N. has done in human rights and the area of rule of law. ”

Mr. Annan also said U.N. involvement would bring legitimacy to a post-war Iraq.

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