UN Iraq resolution buoys G8
8 June 2004 , SEA ISLAND - Leaders of G8 industrial nations, including German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, open their annual summit Tuesday amid hopes that the expected passage of a new UN Iraq resolution will heal a transatlantic split and herald new cooperation on the Mideast sought by US President George W. Bush. The UN Security Council on Monday hammered out the long-sought Iraq resolution which paves the way for a 30 June handover of power from the US-led coalition to an Iraqi transition government.
8 June 2004
SEA ISLAND - Leaders of G8 industrial nations, including German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, open their annual summit Tuesday amid hopes that the expected passage of a new UN Iraq resolution will heal a transatlantic split and herald new cooperation on the Mideast sought by US President George W. Bush.
The UN Security Council on Monday hammered out the long-sought Iraq resolution which paves the way for a 30 June handover of power from the US-led coalition to an Iraqi transition government.
Security Council members are expected to vote on the resolution later Tuesday just hours before the three-day G8 summit opens on Sea Island, off the coast of Georgia.
Final wrangles centred on France, Russia and Germany which sought a time limit for US forces staying in Iraq and an Iraqi government veto on US military operations.
Germany's ambassador to the UN Gunter Pleuger, said the revamped resolution had the backing of the full 15-member Security Council.
The wealthy Group of Eight (G8) club was bitterly divided on the Iraq war with the US, Britain, Japan and Italy backing military action and Germany, France, Russia and Canada opposed.
Winning the Iraq resolution will be an ideal way for President Bush to kick off the summit he is hosting a luxury resort on the tropical Atlantic island.
In a push to mend fences, Bush meets alone Tuesday with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and Russian President Vladmir Putin. He will have talks Wednesday with French President Jacques Chirac.
The UN Iraq accord will allow Bush to focus on American moves to launch a reform dialogue with Arab and Middle East states.
Economic development, an increasing role for women in Muslim societies and democratic progress are regarded as essential to maintaining security for the G8 and other countries in the fight against terrorism.
US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice told reporters the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States had fuelled this idea and that Washington would never again turn "a blind eye to the absence of freedom."
G8 leaders are expected to endorse a now watered-down declaration prepared by US officials on Middle East reform, although a senior US administration official on Monday disputed reports that Washington had made concessions.
An earlier American draft declaration - leaked last winter - caused Arab outrage by implying the G8 should help direct Mideast reform from abroad. The revamped text stresses changes must come from within the Mideast and gives far more emphasis to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. officials said.
On Wednesday, the G8 will meet leaders from Turkey, Jordan, Bahrain, Tunisia, Yemen, Afghanistan and the Iraqi transitional government.
New Iraqi President Sheik Ghazial-Yawer is expected to be given a high-profile welcome at the G8 in a U.S. effort to underline the symbolism of Iraq's sovereignty.
The summit emphasis shifts Thursday to Africa with HIV/AIDS and development topping the agenda. Leaders from Ghana, Senegal, South Africa and Nigeria were due to meet their G8 counterparts.
More than 20,000 police and soldiers are providing security at the summit and a media centre 120 kilometres to the north in historic Savannah.
Surface-to-air missiles, naval vessels and fighter jets have been put in place to guard the sites from possible terrorist attacks.
Anti-globalist protesters were being kept far from the actual summit with demonstrations planned in the coastal cities of Brunswick as well as Savannah.
Subject: German news