UNITED NATIONS – The United Nations (search) plans to send a small team to Baghdad within two weeks to assess security, U.N. diplomats told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The move comes 2 months after all U.N. international staff were ordered out of Iraq following a pair of attacks on the U.N. headquarters in the Iraqi capital. The first of those attacks, in August, killed 22 people, including top envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello (search).
Secretary-General Kofi Annan (search) has approved the return of two U.N. military advisers and two security officers, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard neither confirmed nor denied the report.
The U.N. move comes days before a key meeting on Jan. 19 which Annan has called to try to pin down exactly what role the Iraqi Governing Council (search) and the coalition want the United Nations to play as the country moves from U.S. occupation to a democratically elected government. Annan has said repeatedly that security conditions in Iraq remain too dangerous for the large-scale return.