Leaders of the United Nations, the Iraqi Governing Council, and the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq are meeting to discuss a larger international role in Iraq's transition to self-rule.

The American administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, is joining Secretary General Kofi Annan and nine members of the Governing Council for the discussions.

Mr. Bremer and the Iraqi delegation are hoping to persuade the Secretary General it is time for the world body to take a key role in the handover of power to Iraqis.

In particular, Mr. Bremer wants the United Nations to send a team of experts to Iraq. The team's mission would be to persuade the country's main Shiite religious leader that direct elections are not possible in the immediate future.

Mr. Annan has said he agrees with that conclusion and has ordered a security team to Baghdad in the coming days to determine whether U.N. staff can operate safely there. He withdrew all foreign staff from Iraq after two suicide bomb attacks on U.N. headquarters in Baghdad, one of which killed his personal envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello, and 21 other people.