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New NATO Chief Wants Alliance Role In Iraq

Brussels, 26 January 2004 (RFE/RL) -- NATO's new secretary-general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, says he favors NATO playing a role in Iraq, and has called for a new United Nations resolution on a stabilization force for the country.

Scheffer said it is too early to say exactly say what NATO's role in Iraq could be. Scheffer said a UN resolution would be very helpful in persuading countries to contribute troops to a stabilization force after the U.S. hands over authority to a provisional Iraqi government in July.

NATO, whose 19 members were divided over the Iraq war, currently provides logistical support to a Polish-led contingent in Iraq.