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Muslim Peacekeeping-Force Offer Rejected

18 October 2004 -- The White House says Iraqi government officials and commanders of the U.S.-led military coalition have rejected a proposal by Saudi Arabia for a Muslim peacekeeping force in Iraq.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan said today the interim government in Baghdad had concerns about having troops from a neighboring country inside Iraq. He said coalition commanders also had concerns about forces operating outside the chain of command.

The force would have been controlled by the United Nations instead of U.S. commanders. The initiative reportedly died because the Muslim and Arab countries refused to work under U.S. command.