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UN Making Progress in Rebuilding Iraq, says China - 2003-05-20


China says the Security Council is making progress toward an agreement on how to rebuild war-torn Iraq, after serious differences over U.N. involvement.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Zhang Qiyue, said useful consultations are underway on the role the United Nations should play in rebuilding post-war Iraq.

Speaking to reporters, Ms. Zhang said some progress has been made, and China, one of the permanent members of the Security Council, hopes constructive discussions will continue so rebuilding can begin smoothly.

There have been three draft resolutions put before the U.N. body by Britain, Spain and the United States. The first two were rejected for giving the United Nations too small a role in creating a new Iraqi government, and giving Washington and its allies too much power in determining Iraq's future.

The United States said the third draft, submitted Monday, addresses those concerns and hopes it will be passed as early as Wednesday.

Time is crucial since the resolution would also authorize an end to 13 years of sanctions placed on Iraq for invading Kuwait. The money from Iraq's oil revenue is to be used to rebuild he country.

But Russia's foreign minister has expressed some lingering concerns with the latest resolution.

Also Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry's Ms. Zhang outlined Chinese President Hu Jintao's first foreign trip as the country's leader. He leaves next week to visit several countries, including Russia, on his way to meet the heads of the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations in France.

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