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Updated: 24-May-2004

SHAPE News Morning Update

24 May 2004


  • Turkey close to decision on NATO's Afghan force
  • Norwegian soldier killed in rocket attack


  • U.S. and Britain to present new UN resolution on Iraq
  • Arabs will not send troops to Iraq without requests from the UN and sovereign Iraqi government
  • U.S. and UK troops to get Iraq immunity


  • Turkey is close to making a decision on whether to command NATO's peacekeeping force in Afghanistan next year, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was quoted on Friday as saying. He told The Wall Street Journal in an interview that Turkey would decide soon whether it will command ISAF beginning in February 2005. Turkey would increase the number of its troops in Afghanistan from 155 to 1,500 if it leads ISAF and dispatch the three helicopters it has promised to contribute to the NATO force, the newspaper said. ( Reuters 211021 GMT May 04 )
  • One Norwegian soldier was killed and a second injured in a rocket attack in Afghanistan , the Defence Ministry said early Monday in Oslo. Speaking from Oslo, Lt. Gen. Thorstein Skiaker said another Norwegian soldier was injured in the attack, while two others were unharmed. "It is with great grief I received the message that a Norwegian soldier was killed while on a mission for the world community, NATO and Norway," he said. ( AP 232341 May 04 )


  • The United States and Britain plan to introduce on Monday a long-awaited UN resolution on issues raised by the restoration of Iraqi sovereignty on June 30 , an American official said. The UN Security Council was expected to discuss the draft resolution behind closed doors on Monday morning, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. ( AP 240428 May 04 )
  • The head of the Arab League said Sunday that Arabs will not send troops to Iraq unless specifically asked by the UN Security Council and Iraqis themselves, and the Iraqi foreign minister was sceptical about any Arab military contribution even under those conditions. Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, speaking as the organization wrapped up a two-day summit in Tunis, said he thought it unlikely any Arab government would be eager to play a military role in Iraq after the United States hands power to a self-governing body on June 30. A Kuwaiti newspaper quoted Iraqi Communications Minister Haidar al-Abbadi on Saturday as saying that Iraq was going to ask summit participants for a minimum of 130,000 Arab peacekeeping soldiers if coalition forces leave or hand over security matters to the Iraqis by June 30. Mr. Al-Abbadi told the Al Anbaa newspaper that the request excludes any troops from neighbouring countries. He said the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council had already asked Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia for forces, but did not receive a positive response. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said it is up to Iraq's new government to ask for troops to patrol Iraq but he was skeptical about any Arab contribution. He specifically referred to Egypt and Saudi Arabia as countries opposed to deploying troops in Iraq. ( AP 231951 May 04 )
  • U.S. and British troops, under scrutiny over the treatment of Iraqi prisoners, will retain immunity from prosecution after the handover of power in the country , British newspapers reported on Sunday. The troops will remain subject to the domestic law of their own countries under terms of the handover of sovereignty to Iraqis set for June 30, the papers said. ( Reuters 230823 GMT May 04 )


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