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Annan stresses international law, self-determination in meeting with Rice

[JURIST] UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan met Tuesday at UN Headquarters in New York with US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice:

The Secretary-General repeated his public call on all parties involved in the war to meet their obligations towards civilians under international humanitarian law. He stressed that the United Nations was prepared to do all it could to provide humanitarian assistance to the Iraqi people. However, the UN would have limited capacity to do so until security conditions allowed for the safe return of staff to affected areas. Until then, humanitarian assistance would have to be provided by the United States and its coalition partners in those areas under their control, consistent with their overall responsibility under international law.

Dr. Rice described the United States' present thinking as regards the post-war period. The Secretary-General said that any United Nations role beyond the provision of humanitarian assistance would have to be decided by the Member States through a Security Council resolution. He emphasised the need to maintain the territorial integrity of Iraq and the right of its people to determine their political future and exercise control over their natural resources.
Read the full text of the statement from the Office of the UN Secretary-General.

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