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U.S. drawdown in Iraq affecting UN ability to carry out operations, Ban says

12-02-2010 14:09 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The ongoing U.S. military drawdown in Iraq is making it more difficult for the United Nations to carry out its operations, which range from the humanitarian to the development to the political fields, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his latest report issued here Wednesday.

"While there has been gradual progress over the past several years in making the United Nations more self-reliant in Iraq, certain security and logistical arrangements still being provided by the United States will need to be replaced," he said in his report to the UN Security Council, in which he also cites continuing though lower-level violence and the need to build swiftly on gains in the political field to provide essential services to the Iraqi people.

"While steps are being taken in this (security) regard, this will only be possible with strong financial support from member states," he said, adding that overall the withdrawal of U.S. forces is likely to have a short- to medium-term effect on the security situation as the central government attempts to assert itself.

The U.S. forces last year pulled out of Iraqi cities and are working to formally end combat operations by the end of this month, cutting the American military force from just under 90,000 to 50, 000. A full withdrawal is also in sight at the end of 2011.

As U.S. troops pull out of Iraq, violent attacks such as car bombings again spiked in Baghdad and elsewhere, as Iraqi government figures showed July as the deadliest month for Iraqis in more than two years.

Meanwhile, Iraqi politics were at an impasse, with factions unable to form a government, months after the May 7 parliamentary polls, raising questions over political stability and security after U.S. troops' pullout, reports said.

The secretary-general commended all political blocs for reaching agreements that appear to have ended the deadlock in forming a new government after elections in March. "The breakthrough represents a major milestone in democratic progress for Iraq and should pave the way for the first peaceful transition between elected governments under full Iraqi sovereignty," he said.

Ban called on leaders to swiftly complete forming the new government and ensure that it is inclusive and broadly participatory. "Progress in this regard will help put the country on the path towards democracy, national reconciliation and long- term stability."

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Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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