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NEW YORK (CNN) -- Coalition troops need to remain in Iraq after power is handed over at the end of the month -- but the new leadership must be consulted about major military operations, Iraq's foreign minister says.

The interim government should also have a say in when the troops will leave, Hoshyar Zebari said in an appearance before the U.N. Security Council.

"Any premature departure of international troops would lead to chaos and the real possibility of a civil war in Iraq," Zebari said.

"This would cause a humanitarian crisis and provide a foothold for terrorists to launch their evil campaign in our country and beyond our borders."

However, in a later interview with CNN's Paula Zahn, Zebari said the new government does not expect to instruct American or coalition troops on what they should or shouldn't do, "especially when they are in harm's way."

The new government "needs to be consulted and its views need to be taken into consideration," when it comes to major military offensives that could have serious political or security repercussions, Zebari said.

"We never used the word veto at all. But we said we must have a say."

"We know our country better than American, British [or] Polish troops there, and we know how best to handle the security," he said.

Security Council diplomats are currently wrestling over the wording of a new resolution setting out a framework for Iraq's political shift, first to a transitional government that will take over on June 30 and then to an elected government early next year.

Zebari boiled the interim government's sovereignty needs down to two primary principles.

First, Iraqi military, police, security and intelligence forces "should come under Iraqi control and command, not to be part and parcel of the multi-national force under foreign commands.

"We're talking about sovereignty, or full sovereignty. I think we should say that very clearly and loudly," he said.

Second, the Iraqi interim government "really should have a say about the final status of these forces ... I think we're going to need these forces for quite some time.

"As a sovereign government, definitely, you must have a say this will not be open-ended until forever."

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, said the United States -- which led the coalition invasion of Iraq more than a year ago that eventually toppled Saddam Hussein -- "will engage the incoming government on a broad range of issues and, in particular, on the nature of the security partnership between the MNF [multi-national force] and the Iraqi people."

Negroponte added that the United States is committed to "supporting the new Iraqi government in its work to bring stability to Iraq and to allow national elections by the end of January 2005.

"This will be a true partnership founded on shared goals and tangible cooperation at all levels, from the soldiers on foot patrols to the highest levels of two sovereign governments," he said.

The representative for France, which did not support the U.S.-led coalition's use of force in Iraq, said that the continuing presence of the coalition's military force did not necessarily mean the interim government would not be independent.

"It's possible to reconcile a return to sovereignty with maintaining a sizable foreign military presence," said Jean-Marc de la Sabliere.

"It's possible to have coexistence of a sovereign government and the MNF, while respecting both the complete authority of this government and the operational effectiveness of the force."

But, he added, the relationship between the two must be spelled out specifically in any U.N. resolution.

In addition, he said, "The interim government must have complete authority over its security forces and its armed forces."

The Iraqi forces "should not be engaged in MNF operations without the consent of the government of Iraq."

Finally, he said, "it seems to us critical that the government of Iraq ... will be able to decide freely to terminate the MNF mandate."

After addressing the council, Zebari expressed support for Ahmed Chalabi, the head of the Iraqi National Congress who is accused by U.S. officials of alerting Iran that the United States had broken the code it used for confidential communications.

Chalabi denies the accusation.

"Chalabi is a friend of ours," Zebari told reporters outside the Security Council. "We're sorry to hear of these difficulties, all these rumors.

"Chalabi still, in my view, will have a role to play. He has fought very hard to have the regime of Saddam Hussein toppled, and we are following this news and development with great distress."

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