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Powell: French support at U.N. a step forward

Past disagreements not forgotten, he notes

Powell holds a news conference Thursday in Paris.
Powell holds a news conference Thursday in Paris.

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HIGHLIGHTS OF IRAQ SANCTIONS RESOLUTION
• The United States and Great Britain control Iraq until an elected government is in place.

• All sanctions are lifted except those limiting weapons.

• The oil-for-food program will be phased out over six months.

• All Iraqi oil proceeds go into a development fund.

• Oil money temporarily is immune from legal claims.

• Puts in place a U.N. representative to coordinate humanitarian efforts.
SPECIAL REPORT
• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide

PARIS (CNN) -- France's vote in favor of a U.N. Security Council resolution ending sanctions against Iraq is a step forward for the relationship between the United States and France, but recent disagreements are not forgotten, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday.

French support for the U.S.-backed proposal, which underwent several changes en route to winning a 14-0 vote on Thursday, is "a step in the right direction of moving forward together," Powell told journalists in Paris before the G-8 Summit.

"Does it mean the disagreements of the past are simply totally forgotten? No, that was not a very pleasant time for any of us. And we have to work our way through that."

U.S. and French officials were staunchly at odds in the months before the war, with France vowing to veto any draft resolution that would express international support for military action.

With the passage of this latest resolution, countries have come together "to help the Iraqi people," Powell said.

Now that France and the United States "are together in this resolution, we can move forward together and work on any remaining tensions or difficulties from the past disagreement," he said.

Among the tensions Powell noted are continuing suggestions that the U.S.-led coalition was "operating without legitimacy" -- a claim Powell flatly rejected, citing three U.N. Security Council resolutions that he said provided legitimacy.

"We are not achieving new legitimacy with this resolution that somehow provides what didn't exist in the past," he said.

Powell denied the United States has punished France in any way for its stance leading up to the war. "But you take note of those who disagree with you and you try to find out why, and if it is appropriate to draw some conclusions, consequences following from those," he said.

There has been a "review of some of the activities that take place between the United States and France on a bilateral basis," Powell said. "Some of our joint military activities are being looked at in light of the changed circumstances."

Powell said France had taken to task those European nations that supported the coalition's war effort and had implied there might be consequences against them.

"I hope that we can get all of that in the past, and work out any remaining sharp edges," he said. "We have been through these periods of tension before in our relationship, and I'm quite confident we'll get through this one. But we have to be sober-minded about it, and take a hard look at where we are and where we're going as we move forward."


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