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Iraq: EU Official Calls For UN Role In Coordinating Aid

Prague, 6 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The European Union's chief humanitarian-aid official says the UN should be a "cornerstone" for coordinating aid efforts in Iraq. Speaking in Baghdad, Paul Nielson today said humanitarian aid should be kept out of politics to make sure that it is impartial. "We find it crucial to stick to the traditional principles of delivering our humanitarian aid, to make sure that the humanitarian space is fully respected, that impartial access is granted and secured by the occupying power," Nielson said.

The European Union has agreed to provide Iraq this year with humanitarian aid worth about 100 million euros ($113 million).

Also, NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson said the alliance has not taken a position on what role it may have in postwar Iraq. He said there will be a discussion within the alliance on this issue once the situation in Iraq become clearer.

Polish Defense Minister Jerzy Szmajdzinski said he would like Polish soldiers to team up with German and Danish troops to stabilize one region of Iraq. All three countries are NATO members.