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22 Sep, 2007 18:45

Iraq can provide security for expanded UN presence

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has said that his government would provide any necessary security for an expanded United Nations presence in his country. The statement follows a meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon ahead of the UN General A

They also discussed the role of the UN in Iraq as well as the International Compact – a sweeping five-year economic and political reform plan.

“The relationship between us and the UN will become more effective and based on what the Iraqi government is demanding in a way of help and support. The UN Secretary General has expressed his support for that,” said Nouri al-Maliki.

As for Russia’s position on the issue, President Putin has recently said that to his mind the U.S. needs to set a firm deadline for the withdrawal of the American troops from Iraq. He said he agreed with President Bush that troops can’t leave until the Iraqi government is strong enough to secure the country. But the troops have to go, Vladimir Putin added, because only then the Iraqi government will be motivated to strengthen their security forces, and only then they will be able to handle their problems.