US to decide on Muslim force for Iraq
The Bush administration has not taken a position on a suggestion by Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf that a Muslim force be put together to stabilise and police Iraq.
The State Department has said the ultimate goal of the United States is to have a peaceful Iraq stabilised by Iraqi forces, not outsiders and that the current US-led force, in place with the acquiescence of the United Nations, is the agreed interim way to stop the violence in Iraq.
"I can't tell you if, in the future, if there will be a different composition to that force to include more Muslim forces or not," State Department Spokesman Sean McCormack said in response to a query.
Musharraf suggested a version of a Muslim force in a speech to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, but the idea was immediately rejected by Iraq that said the country wants to be protected by Iraqis.
"The ultimate goal here, though, is to not have any foreign forces, or as few foreign forces in Iraq as possible, and have them take complete control for their own security. They're not there yet," McCormack said.