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France, Germany, Russia Will Not Contribute Militarily, Financially in Iraq Effort

France, Germany and Russia say they will not contribute militarily or offer additional financial support in Iraq. The countries came to the decision despite voting Thursday in favor of a U.N. Security Council resolution authorizing a U.S. -led multi-national force there.

The Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution just hours after an intercontinental video conference. The leaders of France, Germany and Russia say they agreed to vote in favor of the text in the interest of council unity.

But French Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere says the three nations still have reservations about the resolution which envisions a transfer of sovereignty only after a stable Iraqi government is in place.

It is for that reason that the French ambassador says France, Germany and Russia can not provide military help or additional financial support for Iraq.

"We believe that the resolution should have gone further on two major issues," he said. "First, the role of the United Nations in particular in the political process, and second, the pass of the transfer of responsibilities to the Iraqi people. In that context, the conditions are not created for us to envisage any military commitment and any further financial contributions beyond our present engagement."

The resolution follows U.S. efforts to gain international assistance for rebuilding Iraq.

Russian Ambassador Sergey Lavrov says the international community can support Iraq without providing military assistance. He calls the future of Iraq a matter of national security.

"If we do not find a way which is mutually acceptable to all to do Iraq right, the region will suffer," said Ambassador Lavrov. "International stability will suffer. Our security interests will suffer. If you wish, we are driven by our national interests, not at all by a desire to punish anybody, to reward anybody."

Iraq's only neighbor on the council, Syria, was the final nation to lend its support to the resolution. Diplomats had assumed that Syria, under criticism from Washington for allegedly supporting terrorism, would abstain.

But Syrian Ambassador Fayssal Mekdad says in the end, the resolutions' strengths outweigh its weaknesses.

"The resolution lacks many important aspects, but it was with aim of confirming those good aspects of the program, the acceleration of sovereignty and independence and need to deepen U.N. role that we have decided to join," he said.

Mr. Mekdad says Syria approved the measure after holding extensive discussions with the United States and other nations.