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Iraq: National Conference Delayed As UN Sanctions Vote Also Postponed

Baghdad, 21 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Iraq's U.S. civilian administrator says a national conference to form a new Iraqi interim government will probably be held in July, not in June as was planned earlier. The Associated Press quotes Paul Bremer today in Baghdad as saying the conference will likely be held in "mid-July." The reason for the delay wasn't immediately clear.

Meanwhile, a UN vote on a resolution that would end economic sanctions in Iraq has been delayed until at least tomorrow. The vote was expected late yesterday, but was postponed by the U.S., which sponsored the resolution.

U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said the vote was postponed to make changes to the resolution. He gave no details.

The current resolution would give the U.S. and Britain broad powers to run Iraq and use the country's oil revenues for rebuilding until an internationally recognized Iraqi government is in place.