ABU DHABI Ñ The Gulf Cooperation Council has refused a U.S.
request to send troops to Iraq.
GCC officials said the six-member alliance has rejected a U.S. appeal to
send troops to help stabilize Iraq. The officials said the members have not
established policy on the U.S. military presence in Iraq.
"There is no intention to send troops," GCC secretary-general Abdul
Rahman Al Attiyah said.
Al Attiyah told the Saudi daily Al Riyad that the GCC does not plan to
discuss the issue of a Gulf Arab force, Middle East Newsline reported. He said the GCC might consider
joining a United Nations-sponsored force in Iraq.
"We expect the UN Security Council to come out with a resolution setting
out a timetable for the period of stay of the allied forces in Iraq," Qatari
Foreign Minister Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani told GCC foreign ministers on
Sunday in Jedda.
In February, the GCC sent a 10,000-man military force to Kuwait to
protect the sheikdom against Iraq. The Peninsula Shield force, in its first
major mission since its establishment nearly 20 years ago, was ordered to
limit operations to Kuwait and not join the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
The GCC has welcomed the formation of a new Iraqi Cabinet, Al Attiyah
said. He said such a step would help Iraq restore security in the country.
Last week, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates pressed the
Arab League to recognize the new Iraqi government. Many Arab League members,
whose foreign ministers met over the weekend, have refused to do.
Later this week, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was
expected to launch a Middle East tour. Armitage was expected to appeal to
Arab leaders to contribute forces to help stabilize Iraq.