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Annan: Iraqi Government Might Be Named By 31 May

26 May 2004 -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says he is hopeful that his envoy for Iraq, Lakhdar Brahimi, will meet a 31 May target date to name an interim Iraqi government.

Selecting the caretaker administration by that date will give the incoming leaders one month to prepare for the 30 June transfer of power by the U.S.-led coalition. The interim government is planned to assume sovereignty and lead Iraq to elections by January 2005.

Annan's comments came as the members of the UN Security Council debated a U.S.-British draft resolution that would cover Iraq's transition.

Security Council members Russia and France have signaled they will press for changes to the draft, saying they want the new Iraqi government to have real sovereignty and control over security.