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US Seeks More Arab Support in Restoring Iraq's Sovereignty - 2003-08-11


U.S. special envoy William Burns met Monday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and other senior government officials to discuss Iraq and the Israel-Palestinian peace process. Mr. Burns is looking for greater Arab-world backing of U.S. efforts to restore Iraq's sovereignty.

Seeking to generate more support in the Arab world for the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council, American envoy William Burns said the council is an important first step in moving quickly toward restoring full sovereignty to Iraq.

His comment in Cairo came after meetings with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher.

Arab foreign ministers, meeting last week in the Egyptian capital, signaled they would recognize only an Iraqi-elected government, although Jordan has expressed tacit approval of the interim Iraqi council.

Most Arab governments themselves are not democratically elected.

Egypt's foreign minister Monday called for an active role by the United Nations in achieving the goal of restoring Iraq's sovereignty.

On the issue of the international road map for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Mr. Burns said Washington is determined to seek its implementation. Mr. Maher called for the United States to play a stronger role in the peace process.

Mr. Burns travels to Tel Aviv Tuesday.