UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will chair a high-level UN Security Council meeting on Iraq later this month to "recognize the very real progress" that country has made so far, Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the UN who also holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council for December, told reporters here on Thursday.
Rice made the statement as she was briefing reporters here at a press conference on the Security Council's program of work for the month of December. She took over the rotating Council presidency from British UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, who held the rotating presidency for November.
"It's an important opportunity for the international community to recognize the very real progress that Iraq has made both in terms of government formation as well as the significant steps that have been taken to terminate its chapter 7 obligations," Rice told reporters.
The high-level event on Iraq is scheduled for Dec. 15.
On Nov. 25, Iraq's re-elected President Jalal Talabani officially named Maliki as prime minister-designate, who since then will have 30 days to form his cabinet.
As stipulated by the Iraqi constitution, if Maliki fails to pick a cabinet within the required time of 30 days, the president will have 15 days to nominate someone else to form a government.
The prime minister-designate's government and its programs will also have to win the approval of an absolute majority in the Council of Representatives.
U.S. drawdown in Iraq affecting UN ability to carry out operations, Ban says
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. Full story
Maliki to form cabinet by mid December
BAGHDAD, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki said Saturday that he expects the negotiations to form his government would end by mid December.
"I will not let time go until the period (30 days) ends, because I have a time ceiling that doesn't exceed between the 10th and the 15th of next month," Maliki told a news conference in Baghdad. Full story
Special Report: Situation in Iraq