Key states back Iraq resolution
BERLIN, Germany -- France, Germany and Spain say they intend to vote for a United Nations resolution on the transfer of power in Iraq.
French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said that France, which has the power of veto on the U.N. Security Council and opposed the war in Iraq, was still not fully satisfied with the resolution, but would vote for it.
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, quoted by the The Associated Press, said: "Germany is going to vote for the resolution. It is important now to stick to the schedule that is to lead to free and fair elections by January 2005 at the latest."
In Madrid, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos told a news conference "Spain will vote in favour in a spirit of cooperation."
This cleared the way for Security Council approval later on Tuesday, when most diplomats expect a unanimous 15-0 vote.
U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will meet later Tuesday in Sea Island, Georgia, just before a summit of the Group of Eight major industrial nations.
Spain's former government sent troops to join the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq, but the new administration pulled them out last month, fulfilling a pre-election pledge.
Late Monday, a compromise offered by the U.S. received a positive reaction from France and Germany, two of the most strident opponents of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
The proposed U.S. change said an Iraqi committee would work with the multinational force to reach agreement on security, "including policy on sensitive offensive operations."
The resolution says there will be "full partnership between Iraqi forces and the MNF, through close coordination and consultation."
France wanted Iraq's consent to multinational force operations to be clearly stated in the text of the resolution and proposed an amendment saying Iraq's "agreement will be required on sensitive offensive operations."
But French U.N. Ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere said there was "a lot of improvement in this text. ... I think things are going in the right direction."
Germany also said it would support the resolution. "We have found a compromise," said Germany's U.N. ambassador, Gunter Pleuger.
The new U.S. amendment also says that the government of Iraq has authority to commit Iraqi security forces to the multinational force "to engage in operations with it."