The US received heavy criticism from the international community for its decision in early December to limit the awards of all 26 prime contracts to coalition countries only. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on 11 December said that the US had made an ‘unfortunate decision’. ‘Whatever initiative we take I believe it should be unified rather than divisive,’ he said after meeting German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin. ‘In that respect I would not classify the decision taken yesterday as unifying.’ (MEED 10:12:03)