RealNews

Washington seeks UN help to defuse row with Shiites

The United States summoned a top advisor to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Washington for help in defusing tensions with Iraq’s majority Shiite Muslims over plans to set up a new administration in Baghdad without elections. Hours later, Annan announced he would make a statement “shortly” on whether he would dispatch a fact-finding mission to Iraq on the US plans to restore Iraqi-self rule through an appointed body by July 1. On the ground, more Japanese troops arrived in the region on a controversial humanitarian mission while millions of Shiites headed for main weekly prayers after a week of demonstrations to demand the elections. Full Story

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