A top U.S. official has voiced confidence that Washington can meet the demands of most U.N. Security Council members in the draft resolution on Iraq the council is considering.
Visiting Brussels for talks with European Union and NATO officials, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage says he believes the resolution will address the concerns of most Security Council members.
?We believe that we are able, first of all in the resolution, to accommodate the requests and views of most of the 15 members of the Security Council,? he said.
The United States and Britain submitted a revised draft resolution on Tuesday that sets out what kind of relationship Iraq's new interim government will have with troops of the U.S.-led multinational force now occupying the country.
Mr. Armitage told reporters the terms of the force's mandate after Iraq regains its sovereignty on June 30 will also be spelled out in letters to be exchanged between Washington and the interim government.
?It will lay out the relationship between the Iraqi ministry of defense and ministry of interior and the M.N.F. (multinational force) commander,? he added.
The new U.S.-British draft came after several Security Council members, including France and Germany, expressed the desire for a specific termination date for multinational force operations in Iraq.
The new draft does not stipulate a date, but Mr. Armitage says that issue will be dealt with in the resolution.
?There will be a provision in the resolution for a review, a mandatory review, after 12 months, or sooner, if the interim Iraqi government were to ask for it,? he said.
Some Security Council members have insisted that the resolution make clear Iraqi troops and police should have the right to refuse a military order from the U.S. command. But Mr. Armitage says that right need not be spelled out in the resolution.
?Of course, if they are a sovereign government, they would have to be able to refuse, but these are the kind of things that are worked out on the ground between the M.N.F. commander and the sovereign government,? Mr. Armitage said.
U.S. diplomats say the new interim Iraqi government is likely to sign an agreement with the U.S.-led coalition under which the multinational force will continue to operate in the country under a U.N. mandate until Iraqi forces are ready to assume responsibility for the country's security.