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G8 Foreign Ministers Discuss Iraq - 2004-05-14

The foreign ministers of the Group of Eight are meeting Friday in Washington, with the situation in Iraq high on the agenda.

The meeting of the leading industrialized nations and Russia comes as the United States seeks a United Nations Security Council resolution recognizing the transfer of sovereignty to a caretaker Iraqi government on June 30 and approving a multinational force to maintain security in Iraq.

Late Thursday in New York, French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said there must be what he called a "real break" between the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq and the transfer of sovereignty. He said the Iraqi caretaker government must be consulted about the movements and operational use of the multinational force.

Mr. Barnier said France will work on the U.N. resolution in a "constructive spirit," but will not contribute any troops to the multinational force. He said the fully sovereign Iraqi government that takes power after elections in January must approve any force that remains in the country after that date.

The Group of Eight includes the United States, Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia.