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Nambe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-20-03 02:14 AM
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Annan urges Iraq pullout (Timetable)
By The New York Times

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has called on the U.S.-led forces in Iraq to set out a "clear timetable' for a staged withdrawal, noting that numerous Iraqis had told U.N. officials that "democracy should not be imposed from the outside.'

While welcoming the formation last weekend of the 25- member Governing Council for Iraq, Annan said in a report distributed to Security Council members on Friday that "there is a pressing need to set out a clear and specific sequence of events leading to the end of the military occupation.'

The report comes at a delicate moment, less than a week after India declined to provide military assistance in Iraq unless it could be done with U.N. authorization. Secretary of State Colin Powell has indicated a willingness to explore a new resolution, but, simultaneously, U.S. military officials are predicting a prolonged guerrilla war that could keep high levels of troops in Iraq for months. ---

The U.N. report also chides the provisional authority for its failure to restore order, saying that "for ordinary Iraqis, as well as U.N. personnel, the principal security threat currently comes from violent crime.'

The report offered a picture of a crippled society struggling to restore basic services and rebuild its institutions. The health care system is operating at 30 percent to 50 percent of its prewar capacity, and while schools are open, attendance "remains significantly down.'

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