• Staff report

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Senior Vice Foreign Minister Masatoshi Abe on Thursday met with the ambassadors of France, Germany and Syria, urging them to support a U.S.-sponsored resolution on the reconstruction of Iraq.

Abe’s ultimate aim is to have the resolution adopted unanimously by the U.N. Security Council.

“The international community should act in unison to work on the reconstruction of Iraq,” Abe was quoted as saying during separate meetings at the Foreign Ministry with French Ambassador Bernard de Montferrand, German Ambassador Henrik Schmiegelow and Syrian Ambassador Kahatan Syoufi.

The proposed resolution would pave the way for more U.N. involvement in the rebuilding of Iraq, while still allowing the United States to effectively control the process.

Abe called on the three ambassadors to lobby their governments to vote for the resolution, thereby allowing the international community to show its commitment toward Iraq, ministry officials said.

The request came a day before a visit to Tokyo by U.S. President George W. Bush.

Montferrand and Schmiegelow were quoted as saying that their governments are still considering whether to vote for the resolution, while the Syrian ambassador said his nation opposes it.

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