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US, British Envoys Update UN on Events in Iraq

On the heels of the bombing of the U.N. compound in Baghdad, ambassadors from the United States and Britain updated the United Nations Security Council on the situation in Iraq.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte told the Security Council the timing of Tuesday's car bombing was not an accident, but a planned attack perpetrated by those who wanted to take advantage of instability in Iraq.

Briefing the Security Council on U.S.-led actions to increase safety and security in Iraq, Ambassador Negroponte said training of a new and growing Iraqi police force is under way. Currently there are 38,000 police officers patrolling Iraq. Six-thousand of those are in Baghdad. The ultimate goal, he said, is to have 65,000 police countrywide.

Referring to Security Council discussions on a new resolution to increase international troops in Iraq, Ambassador Negroponte welcomed the contributions of 30 countries already involved. He reiterated the need for international participation in the wake of the terrorist attack.

"The members of this body must unreservedly stand together," he said. "We must invigorate our struggle against terrorism and aggressively implement measures to suppress acts of terrorism."

British Ambassador Emyr Jones Parry asked the Security Council to consider ways to could increase international involvement, especially given the extensive amount of reform needed to overcome 30 years of oppression under Saddam Hussein.

"I suspect the international community as a whole underestimated how much fundamental damage had been caused to the fabric of Iraq and its society by such a pernicious regime," he said.

France and Russia are among countries that opposed the war in Iraq. Both countries indicated that additional U.N. involvement would be welcome. Russian ambassador Sergey Lavrov said he welcomes more detailed discussions on ways to increase security there.

"We think the council can take additional measures, no doubt about it, to improve security for international personnel," he said. "Of course this is part of overall security situation in Iraq, so unavoidably we would have to discuss what could be done on this score as well. For the meantime the coalition is responsible in accordance with their own obligation for safety and security in Iraq."

Ambassador Negroponte said he views the creation of the Iraqi Governing Council as one of the most significant accomplishments in rebuilding Iraq, and he also called for strengthening the Governing Council and the power structures led by Iraqis within Iraq.