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Annan Confident UN Will Approve Iraq Oil-for-Food Program - 2003-03-28


U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan says he is confident that the Security Council will authorize the resumption of the oil-for-food program in Iraq. A vote on the measure could come as early as Friday.

The proposed resolution makes some temporary administrative changes to the oil-for-food program, which was suspended before the war in Iraq began.

For a period of 45 days, Secretary-General Kofi Annan would oversee the program. Mr. Annan says that the situation on the ground will determine when supplies can again be distributed to the Iraqi people.

The secretary-general says that during discussions about the oil-for-food program and a future U.N. role in Iraq, some members on the council expressed concern about quote "legitimizing" the war. "In my discussion with council members they do not want to see any situation where the U.N. is subjugated to authority of a country or several countries," said Kofi Annan.

Russia, in particular, had voiced objections to allowing the U.S. led coalition in Iraq to oversee the oil-for-food program.