U.N. involvement in Iraq pushed

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and his Malaysian counterpart, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, agreed Thursday that the international community needs to promote the involvement of the United Nations in rebuilding Iraq, a Japanese official said.

The two leaders agreed that the United States plays a key role in the fields of economy, politics and military in the reconstruction process, the official said.

But Koizumi and Abdullah, who also serves as chairman of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, noted that the authority of the U.N. is essential, in addition to U.S. military power, the official said.

Koizumi told Abdullah that Japan’s dispatch of Self-Defense Forces troops to Iraq is in keeping with a U.N. resolution calling for international cooperation in rebuilding Iraq.