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Iraq: Russia, U.S. Welcome UN Resolution On Iraq

United Nations, 15 August 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Russia and the United States have expressed satisfaction over a United Nations Security Council resolution that "welcomes" Iraq's U.S.-appointed Governing Council. The resolution, which also authorizes UN operations in Iraq for the next 12 months, was approved yesterday 14-0, with Iraq's neighbor Syria abstaining.

The Arab League, of which Syria is a member, has rejected any endorsement of the 25-member Governing Council.

The U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Negroponte, said the vote moves the Iraqi people closer to self-governance.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said today that Russia is satisfied that the resolution gives renewed authority to UN operations in Iraq.

Fedotov also said Russia will send experts to join the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI). Fedotov said Russia has already refused any military involvement in the U.S.-led occupation force in Iraq and the new UN resolution does not cover security and military issues.