28 January 2005

Statement on UN Electoral Assistance Director’s Remarks to Press

NEW YORK, 27 January (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued on 26 January by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

Carina Perelli, Director of the United Nations Electoral Assistance Division, misspoke today when she said the United States military was “over-enthusiastic in wanting to help” with the Iraqi elections.  She was trying to make a point about the great sensitivity among many Iraqis about the U.S. presence as the election approaches, but not to deny the obvious fact that the U.S. military, along with the Iraqi security forces, are playing a crucial role in providing security for Iraqi citizens who will be voting.  Ms. Perelli’s role was to brief the press on the technical preparations for the election, and she did not intend to criticize the U.S. military’s profile.

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