Wednesday, December 19, 2007

UNSC extends US mission in Iraq

The UNSC has voted unanimously to extend UN authorization for US-led troops in Iraq.  15 countries, including the US, voted to extend the mandate.   The UN Security Council is composed of five permanent members — China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States — and ten non-permament members: Belgium, Italy, Qatar, Congo, Panama, Slovakia, Ghana, Peru, South Africa, and Indonesia.  Burkina Faso, Costa Rica, Croatia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Viet Nam were elected to become the next five non-permanent members of the Security Council from 1 January 2008. They will replace Congo, Ghana, Peru, Qatar and Slovakia.  Thanks RhusLancia for posting the link to the article below.
UN Extends US-Led Force in Iraq

Wednesday December 19, 2007 3:31 AM


Associated Press Writer

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq for one year, a move that Iraq's prime minister said would be his nation's ``final request'' for help.

Authorization for the 160,000-strong multinational force was extended until the end of 2008 because ``the threat in Iraq continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security,'' according to the resolution.

Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Hamid Al Bayati called it a historic day for the country because the council renewed the mandate ``for the last time'' after long and hard negotiation. He expressed hope that the council would deal with Iraq without any military authorizations after 2008.

``We realize that Iraq still needs more time and intensive efforts to enable our armed forces to take over the security responsibilities all over Iraq from the multinational forces,'' he said, noting that Iraqi forces took responsibility for Basra two days ago and now control nine provinces.

U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad formally introduced the resolution Tuesday afternoon and soon after the council met to approve it.

After the 15-0 vote, Khalilzad cited ``positive developments in Iraq'' including reduced violence. He welcomed the council's support for the Iraqi government's desire ``to sustain this momentum'' and keep the force in the country.

The resolution requires a review of the mandate at the request of the Iraqi government or by June 15, 2008. It reiterates a provision of past resolutions that the council ``will terminate this mandate earlier'' if Iraq requests that.

It also says the Security Council would have to consider Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's request, in a letter on Dec. 7 to the Security Council's president, that ``this is to be the final request ... for the extension of the mandate'' for the U.S.-led force.


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