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Iraq: Annan Expresses Support For Iraqi Governing Council

United Nations, 21 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has expressed hope that the UN Security Council will give its support to the U.S.-backed Iraqi Governing Council. Annan told reporters today that the council's formation was a positive step and it deserves support because it is broadly representative of the Iraqi population.

But he also said there needs to be a timetable for ending the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, with clear steps leading to the restoration of an Iraqi government.

The secretary-general said in a report to the Security Council that there is an overwhelming desire for self-rule in Iraq and that democracy cannot be imposed from the outside.

Annan and his special envoy in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, are expected to report to the Security Council tomorrow. Representatives of the Iraqi Governing Council will also address the meeting and are planning to declare their council the sovereign representative of Iraq at the United Nations.