Image: Mark Malloch Brown
Pool via Getty Images
Deputy U.N. Secretary-General Mark Malloch Brown met with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani on Thursday in Baghdad to discuss an international partnership.
updated 7/6/2006 7:53:23 PM ET 2006-07-06T23:53:23

The No. 2 United Nations official met with top Iraqi leaders in Baghdad on Thursday to promote a new partnership meant to help muster political and economic support for Iraq’s government, the U.N. said.

Mark Malloch Brown, the deputy U.N. secretary-general, discussed setting up a preparatory group that will have the backing of the World Bank and include representatives of international donors, the U.N. said in a news release from its headquarters in New York.

The International Compact for Iraq was set up last month at the behest of Iraq’s new prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki. Its main task at the start will be charting a five-year course to “consolidate peace and pursue political, economic and social development,” the statement said.

Details of the compact have not been set. But Iraq’s new leaders, in comments echoed by President Bush, have urged greater international cooperation in helping the country rebuild its economy — a key step to cementing political stability.

During a two-day trip that ended Thursday, Malloch Brown met with al-Maliki and President Jalal Talabani, as well as members of the donor community.

U.S. officials would not comment on Malloch Brown’s trip.

“We are very supportive of greater U.N. involvement in Iraq,” U.S. Mission spokesman Richard Grenell said.

The U.N.’s presence and activity in Iraq has been limited since the bombing of its headquarters in Baghdad in August 2003. It killed 22 people, including the top U.N. envoy to Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

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