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US looks to East Timor peacekeeping as model for new Iraq mandate

The United States wants the United Nations to authorize a multi-nation force for Iraq under US command loosely modelled on the UN’s peacekeeping operation in East Timor that was run by Australia, a senior State Department official said. The official, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said Washington would also look for the UN Security Council to call for “a clear timetable” for Iraqi authorities to draft a constitution and hold elections. Secretary of State Colin Powell, having gotten approval from President George W. Bush on Tuesday to seek a broader UN mandate for the Iraq operation, began lobbying Security Council members in phone calls to several of his counterparts, the official said. Powell spoke with UN chief Kofi Annan, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and more notably with the foreign ministers of France, Germany and Russia — Dominique de Villepin, Joschka Fischer and Igor Ivanov — all of whose countries opposed the war, the official said. Full Story

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