The UN Security Council voted unanimously yesterday to extend the mandate of the 160,000-strong multinational force in Iraq.
The council acted quickly in response to a request from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who said a top government priority is to assume full responsibility for security and stability in the country but that it needs more time.
The resolution, drafted by the U.S., extends the mandate of the multinational force for one year starting on Dec. 31 and authorizes a review at the request of the Iraqi government or by June 15.
The resolution contains the same provision as past resolutions: A commitment the council "will terminate this mandate earlier if requested by the government of Iraq."
Al-Maliki's request for the one-year extension with a termination clause came as the U.S. administration stepped up diplomatic efforts to stabilize the war-torn country, certain to be a top item on the agenda when U.S. President George W. Bush meets al-Maliki tomorrow in Jordan.
This report from AP should tell them that for at least a year , Iraq and the UN want the coalition to stay in Iraq .