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Iraq: Annan Report Stresses Need For Rapid Return Of Sovereignty

United Nations, 19 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan says restoring security and sovereignty to Iraq should be the main priorities of the U.S.-led provisional authority. He made the comment in a report he will present to the UN Security Council next week. He sent the report to the council yesterday.

He said: "There is a pressing need to set out a clear and specific sequence of events leading to the end of military occupation. It is important that Iraqis are able to see a clear timetable leading to the full restoration of sovereignty."

In the report which he will present on 22 July, Annan said the "principal message" is that "democracy could not be imposed from outside" and that it must originate inside Iraq.

Annan also included a list of tasks the UN intends to pursue in Iraq. The tasks include economic reconstruction, delivering humanitarian aid, encouraging the development of an Iraqi press, and planning for future elections.