UNITED NATIONS – The United States and Britain revised their Security Council (search) resolution on transferring sovereignty to Iraq (search) on Friday, giving the country's new interim government authority to order the U.S.-led multinational force to leave at any time.
The previous draft introduced Tuesday declared the council's readiness to terminate the force's mandate by January 2006 or at the request of the transitional government formed after elections held by Jan. 31, 2005.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told the U.N. Security Council on Thursday that the incoming government wants the multinational force to stay to prevent civil war, and he told The Associated Press on Friday that he could not foresee its departure before power is transferred to the transitional government early next year.
The revised draft circulated to Security Council members includes what Secretary of State Colin Powell and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have stated publicly — that American and British troops will leave if asked.
It declares that the council will terminate the mandate for the multinational force after elections held by Dec. 31, 2005, or earlier "if requested by the sovereign government of Iraq."