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Iraq to have 'Veto' over Troops

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UK Prime Minister Tony Blair says that after the transfer of power on 30 June, Iraq's interim government will have a veto on operations by coalition troops.

"The final political control remains with the Iraqi government. That's what the transfer of sovereignty means."

But France - which has the power to block a US-UK resolution on Iraq at the UN - has expressed reservations.

President Jacques Chirac set out French concerns in a phone conversation with US President George W Bush on Tuesday.


The text of the draft resolution says that the interim Iraqi government that takes charge on 30 June will have sovereignty, but limited control over coalition military operations.

It does not specify that the troops will leave Iraq if the new government asks them to.

But Mr Blair on Tuesday stressed that an Iraqi government would have the "final political control" over action by coalition forces after 30 June.

Asked by reporters whether Iraqi ministers would be able to veto military action such as a renewed assault on the restive Iraqi city of Falluja, Mr Blair said any action would need "the consent of the Iraqi government".

And it would be up to the Iraqi government and its people to decide "whether the troops stay or not", he said.

Mr Blair's statement that the interim Iraqi government will have a veto over military operations is part of an effort by Britain and the United States to bolster the status of what was until recently looking like a very weak body, says BBC News Online's world affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds.

Iraq's Governing Council has said the draft resolution, while positive, has fallen short of their expectations and the final version must guarantee Iraq's right to ask foreign troops to leave.

"We as Iraqis see the need for multinational troops to stay in Iraq in the short term," the council president Ghazi al-Yawer said.

"But we want to have the right to ask that these forces leave if we deem that to be in the best interests of the country."

Iraqis must also have control over the revenue from the country's oil sales, he said.

Iraq's Defence Minister Ali Allawi, after holding talks in London with his UK counterpart Geoff Hoon, said he expected foreign troops to remain in the country for "months rather than years".

Continued here

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I'm glad Blair's gone on record with this. The Iraqi government should have the final say over whether our troops stay or go.

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Of course the Coalition would leave if the Iraq's ask them too, and I have no doubt the Coalition will pressure them into saying it. Both Blair and Bush are lossing face in there own countries due to the actions of certain troops and branchs of the government, and due to massive causalities. Both want out, and this veto allows them to pull out and allow Iraq to survive or fall apart without them having to take blame for destroying the countries structure (as evil as it was) and then leaving on the verge of a civil war.

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The new Iraqi government will not ask the Coalition Forces to leave, as now that we have created a lawless nation, which is quickly filling up with Al Qu'ida forces, they will not survive without us.

A London think-tank has estimated, as reported in The Independent today, that we in fact need to increase our forces there to 500,000 in order to stem the uprisings and general lawlessness that now exists there.

The new Iraq security forces set up after the 'end of the war' have neither the stomach or the training for what will esentially be a civil war if the Coaltion forces leave.

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