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UN: Security Council Meets On Iraq Sanctions

United Nations, 16 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United Nations Security Council is expected to hold discussions in the coming hours on a U.S.-proposed draft resolution that would lift the 13-year-old UN sanctions against Iraq. Some members of the Security Council, notably Russia, France, and China, have voiced concerns about parts of the resolution.

The United States has amended part of its draft to give the UN envoy to Iraq greater powers. But the draft still gives the U.S. and Britain wide-ranging powers to run Iraq and decide how to spend the country's oil wealth for reconstruction, until a permanent Iraqi government is established.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yurii Fedotov said the draft resolution needed serious corrections before his country or China would accept it. Russia and China are both veto-holding Security Council permament members.

France, another veto-holding Security Council member, says it has made "constructive suggestions" toward a reworked draft resolution.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, on a visit to Germany today, received the backing of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder for the quick lifting of the sanctions against Iraq.

Germany, a current temporary member of the Security Council, opposed the Iraq war, but Schroeder said it no longer makes sense to keep the sanctions.