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Bush Administration Optimistic About UN Acceptance of New Iraqi Resolution - 2004-06-06

Top Bush administration officials say they are confident the U.N. Security Council will act soon on a new Iraq resolution. Secretary of State Colin Powell says he is encouraged by what he has seen lately at the United Nations.

He said there is no denying differences remain over the wisdom of invading Iraq. But he stresses the international community is ready to move forward. "And that is what I hope this resolution will allow us to do, to move forward as an international community, to allow the Iraqi people - and help the Iraqi people achieve the democracy that they so richly deserve, having gotten rid of a tyrant, Saddam Hussein," he said.

Mr. Powell told CBS television's Face the Nation that the Iraq resolution before the Security Council is comprehensive. He said accompanying letters set out arrangements for a multi-national force that will handle security duties in Iraq, after the transfer of full sovereignty to that country's interim government.

In a later appearance on CNN's Late Edition, Secretary Powell said all major issues related to the resolution have been resolved, and only a few details remain.

"The last three U.N. resolutions with respect to Iraq since the war all passed unanimously, and I hope, this coming week, we will see another resolution pass unanimously," said Mr. Powell.

Some countries have hinted they might be willing to send troops to Iraq, once the U.N. formally endorses the interim leadership, and paves the way for the multi-national force.

But White House National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice told the Fox News Sunday program, the Bush administration does not expect an influx of foreign troops. "The notion of large scale increases in foreign forces is probably not in the cards," she said.

Like Secretary Powell, Ms. Rice expressed confidence the resolution will clear the Security Council in a matter of days. She said passage of the measure by a united Council will send out a clear signal, not only to the people of Iraq, but terrorists and others who are challenging the move to democracy in that country.

"The strongest message that could be sent to them is the unified message of the international community that this government is supported, the multinational force is supported and Iraq's future is well on its way," said Ms. Rice.

Both Secretary Powell and Condoleezza Rice were interviewed by satellite from the American Cemetery in Normandy in France, where they were attending ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the D-day invasion that led to the fall of Nazi Germany in World War II.