Extending U.N. Iraq mandate best option

July 25, 2008 at 5:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 25 (UPI) -- An extension of the U.N. mandate governing military action in Iraq is the best course of action in the absence of a formal agreement, a U.S. lawmaker said.

Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Chairman Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., told lawmakers this week he felt the possibility Washington could negotiate a formal security arrangement to replace the expiring U.N. mandate in Iraq was "very much in question."

"Furthermore, we hear from our colleagues in the Iraqi Parliament that they feel they have not been adequately informed as to the substance of the agreement and its implications for Iraqi sovereignty," he said.

In light of this, Delahunt said, "a short-term extension of the U.N. mandate is the best course of action." Later in the testimony, former Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi backed a proposal to impose a U.N. Chapter VI mandate on Iraq, a measure Delahunt supported.

Unlike the current Chapter VII mandate, a Chapter VI mandate provides for a voluntary arrangement regarding the presence of foreign troops as outlined by the host nation.

Delahunt also admonished U.S. President George W. Bush for moving forward with the deal without provisions to seek congressional consent, a move the chairman countered with legislation demanding such approval.

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