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Iraq: Powell Advocates Six-Month Deadline For Leaders To Write Constitution

New York, 26 September 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says Washington is considering imposing a six-month deadline for Iraqi leaders working under U.S. administration to produce a new constitution. Powell, in an interview with "The New York Times" today, said the deadline would be a difficult one to meet but "we've got to get them going."

Adnan Pachachi, a member of the U.S.-selected Iraqi Governing Council, told a news conference yesterday that the 25-member body hoped to have a constitution completed by May next year.

In a separate development, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has decided to withdraw most of the remaining 86 international UN staff from Iraq until their safety can be assured.