Top UN Iraq envoy ends first visit after talks with broad range of key figures

25 August 2004

The top United Nations envoy for Iraq today ended his first visit to Baghdad since his appointment last month after meeting with a long line of political leaders and prominent figures in civil society to discuss the world body's role in the political and humanitarian reconstruction of the war-torn country.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative Ashraf Qazi will now meet with officials from UN agencies in Geneva, before going on to New York for talks with senior UN officials there early next month. Deputy Special Representative Ross Mountain will take over as the senior UN official in Iraq until Qazi returns.

During his 13-day stay in the country Mr. Qazi attended meetings of the Iraqi National Conference, which chose a body to monitor the work of the Interim Government, and discussed fighting in the holy Shiite Muslim city of Najaf with interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi and other leaders.

His talks also focused on the UN role in the country's political transition, in particular the electoral process that begins with a vote for a constituent assembly in January.