Iyad Allawi (file photo)
6 June 2004 -- Reports from United Nations headquarters in New York say the incoming Iraqi government and the United States have agreed on a way to regulate the use of military forces inside Iraq.
Agreement on this difficult issue would clear the way for adoption of a new UN resolution in the next few days on the future of Iraq.
The reports, from AFP and Reuters, say U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell and Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi have sent the UN Security Council letters pledging cooperation in military matters.
However, the letters are said not to provide concrete details on the relationship between the new Iraqi government and the U.S.-led multinational force that will remain in the country after the interim government takes over 30 June.
Allawi's letter says Iraq will establish "coordination bodies" to ensure that Iraqi security forces will coordinate with the multinational force on all security policy and operations issues. It also says his government will retain control of the country's armed forces and work in "full partnership" with the U.S.-led multinational force. In his letter, Powell says the American commander of the multinational force "will work in partnership with the sovereign government of Iraq in helping to provide security."
Meanwhile, members of the UN Security Council today are expected to receive a new American and British draft resolution on Iraq.
Yesterday, the Security Council held a special session to review the letters exchanged by Allawi and Powell. Analysts say the letters are an attempt to clarify the status of the "multinational forces" envisaged to stay in Iraq after the 30 June handover of power.
The American ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, said he hoped a vote on the draft resolution could be held on Tuesday.