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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ivanov: U.S. to Submit New Proposal on Iraq

Foreign Minster Igor Ivanov said Friday that the United States and Britain will submit new proposals for a UN Security Council resolution on Iraq in the coming days.

Ivanov said U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has told him the proposals will take Russia's opinion into account and will be submitted in the next day or two. "We are looking forward to seeing this document," Ivanov said.

In a telephone conversation, Powell "underlined that the United States is interested in reaching a consensus among the permanent five members of the UN Security Council in order to implement all UN Security Council resolutions on Iraq," he said.

Ivanov's comments came as diplomats at the United Nations said the United States has backed down from its demand that a new UN resolution must authorize military force if Baghdad fails to cooperate with weapons inspectors. Russia has strongly opposed a resolution that would involve the automatic use of force.

The foreign minister said he told Powell that Russia is "ready for the most constructive cooperation to find common understanding so that a new resolution would become an important element supporting international inspectors, who should leave for Iraq as quickly as possible."

"We believe that there are favorable conditions now to preserve the unity of the global community and ensure the return of international inspectors and their efficient work in Iraq," he said.

On Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin said Russia was prepared to work with other permanent members of the Security Council to develop new resolutions ensuring the effectiveness of international weapons inspectors in Iraq.

In a separate statement Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said that "the start of inspections must not be delayed." He said Moscow is encouraged that "the Russian position on the need for the soonest possible renewal of international inspections in Iraq is widely shared in the United Nations."

Washington has accused Iraq of trying to develop weapons of mass destruction in violation of United Nations resolutions. U.S. President George W. Bush has been trying to rally international support for tough action, but he has also warned that the United States is prepared to go it alone. On Wednesday, he signed a congressional resolution authorizing war against Iraq, if necessary.

Russia, which has a Security Council veto, has said the U.S. proposal in its current form is unacceptable. The Kremlin opposes including that "trigger" clause in a new resolution and has said it favored the approach put forth by France, in which an initial resolution would set terms with the understanding that if Iraq does not cooperate, the Security Council could meet for another resolution that could include authorizing military force.