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Post-war Iraq hard to plan - UK

Preparations for post-war Iraq may have to wait until fighting ends.
Preparations for post-war Iraq may have to wait until fighting ends.

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DOHA, Qatar (CNN) -- Plans for a post-war Iraqi government will be difficult to complete until fighting ends and the situation in Iraq can be assessed, a British Central Command spokesman said Monday.

"The difficulty ... is knowing the texture of what comes (after the war)," Air Marshal Brian Burridge told reporters at a briefing in Doha.

"If we had a situation... where the Iraqi army fought very fiercely where there was a lot of destruction of infrastructure, then a different sort of government would be required," he said.

Although the time required to establish such a government is uncertain, he said, the coalition's part needs to be as short and low profile as possible.

"The speed at which we can produce an Iraqi government is all that we are worried about."

Burridge was speaking on the same day as U.S. President George W. Bush was meeting UK Prime Minister Tony Blair in Northern Ireland for a two-day summit on a post-war Iraq.

Blair has called for a larger U.N. role in postwar Iraq -- a view at odds with the White House -- and the summit will attempt to reconcile those differences. (Iraq summit)

Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Monday that Rafeeudin Ahmed will be his special advisor to coordinate with Security Council members on post-war Iraq.

Annan said Ahmed has been working with Annan in this role since February, and he will become available to the Security Council "to exchange ideas, and to give me some advice."

Ahmed, a Pakistani national, is a former U.N. Development Program official.

"I do expect the U.N. to play an important role" in postwar Iraq, Annan said.

"U.N. legitimacy is necessary for the country, for the region and for the people's around the world," Annan said.

Annan, who will leave Wednesday on a trip to London, Paris, Berlin and Moscow, said he will meet the council Monday morning to discuss developments on the ground and the post-conflict situation in Iraq.


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