Nation hails new Iraq resolution
China's Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Wang Guangya said on Tuesday that the new UN resolution on Iraq will usher in a new, historic turning point in the Iraqi political process and represents a new page in the relationship between the UN and Iraq.
Resolution 1546, endorsed unanimously by the Security Council on Tuesday afternoon, constitutes "a milestone that marks an end to the past and a beginning to the future," Wang said in a statement after its adoption.
In a packed council chamber, the 15-nation body endorsed a "sovereign interim government" in Iraq.
The resolution paves the way for elections by giving a timetable of no later than January 2005 for a poll on a transitional government. After a constitution is written, a permanent government is to take office by January 31, 2006.
The measure puts Iraq in charge of its oil proceeds and calls for the United Nations to help with elections, writing of a constitution and many other tasks.
Chinese scholars also see the resolution as "an encouragement" to the interim Iraqi government and a chance for US President George W. Bush to win back his support in the upcoming general election, and "a step forward" in the process of rebuilding of Iraq.
Tao Wenzhao, a researcher with the Institute for American Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the resolution endorses the legal position of the interim government which marks the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty.
Zhu Feng, professor of international relations with Peking University, said the voice and message sent by the resolution -- to build a stable and democratic Iraq -- is strong and clear.
The new resolution authorizes a US-led multinational force to keep the peace following a late addition on control of military forces sought by France.
It also gives the Iraqi interim government the right to order US troops to leave at any time and makes clear the mandate of the international force will expire by the end of January 2006.
Meanwhile, the observers said the resolution also provides Bush with an opportunity to win back his support in the general election.
"The US dilemma in after the Iraq War now is the biggest electoral test for Bush and he hoped to remove the Iraq War topic from the centre of the presidential election," said Tao.