Powell's call for more troops and money falls on deaf ears.
Despite worldwide anguish over the bombing of the UN compound in Baghdad, the United States faces resistance in its quest to recruit more troops and money to help rebuild Iraq.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell launched a new effort at the United Nations on Thursday to broaden the American-led coalition force in Iraq, but made it clear that Washington would not cede any of its authority.
"Ceding authority is not an issue we have had to discuss," Mr Powell said at a joint press conference with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. But he said "perhaps additional language and a new resolution might encourage others".
Key UN Security Council members including France, Germany and Russia made it clear, however, that unless the UN was given a greater say in Iraq, the US and Britain would have to continue to shoulder the military and economic burden in the country. The initial rebuff from France, Germany and Russia came as the head of US Central Command, General John Abizaid, warned that Iraq was now "at the centre of the global war on terrorism".
In a frank admission that security in Iraq was deteriorating rather than improving, General Abizaid said that terrorism "is emerging as the No. 1 security threat".
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, who was due to confer with Mr Annan overnight on a Security Council resolution aimed at encouraging more nations to help in Iraq, echoed Mr Powell on the need for a unified military command under control of the US, which has 150,000 troops in Iraq.
France, Germany and Russia, however, urged the US to accelerate its timetable for the handover of power to an internationally recognised government and the swift withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq.
"Sharing the burden and the responsibilities in a world of equal and sovereign nations means also sharing information and authority," Michel Duclos, France's charge d'affaires at the UN, said.
The diplomatic bid by the US has resurrected the divisions within the Security Council that existed before the US invaded Iraq in March without explicit Security Council authority.
Without US agreement to cede some control to the world body, diplomats said the possibility of a robust international force appeared unlikely to attract much new support. Countries including India, Turkey and Pakistan were still wavering about contributions. Munir Akram, Pakistan's UN ambassador, said "we need to see whether we would be welcomed in Iraq".
A terrorist group calling itself the Armed Vanguard of the Second Mohammed Army claimed responsibility for Tuesday's UN attack that killed at least 24 people, including the head of the UN mission in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.
[Source: By Evelyn Leopold, NY by The Age, Australia, 23Aug03]
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