No early French decision on troops for Iraq

9th April 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 9 (AFP) - France Friday confirmed that it has been approached by the United States to contribute to a force protecting UN personnel in Iraq, but said it was too early to give a response.

PARIS, April 9 (AFP) - France Friday confirmed that it has been approached by the United States to contribute to a force protecting UN personnel in Iraq, but said it was too early to give a response.

"I can confirm that France along with other countries has been approached by the American authorities on the subject of protecting the United Nations in Iraq," said foreign ministry spokesman Herve Ladsous.

"However the question of a possible UN reinvolvement in Iraq depends on a number of questions which are far from being resolved as they hinge both on the political aspect of the affair and on what happens on the ground," he said.

Lakhdar Brahimi, who is a special envoy of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, is due to make recommendations shortly on a possible role for the UN in Iraq.

"We are waiting to find out what he says," said Ladsous.

US officials said Washington is hoping for contributions from France, India and Pakistan for a force of 1,500 troops to protect UN personnel who may be sent to Iraq to organise elections after the transfer of sovereignty due on June 30.

Senior French diplomats have said that France's ability to respond to the request could also be limited by its existing military commitments in Africa, Afghanistan, the Balkans and Haiti.

© AFP
       
 
                                                                 Subject: French news

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