[JURIST] The UN Security Council [official website] passed a resolution [PDF; UN press release] Thursday extending the UN mission in Iraqfor another 12 months in an effort to aid the troubled country in reaching political stability. A few weeks ago, Secretary-General Kofi Annan [official website] sent a letter to the Council pushing to extend the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq [official website] past the expiration date Friday. There are now 260 UN civilians and military staff working in Iraq, and Annan said he expects the number to increase as new facilities open up in Basra and Irbil. US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton [official profile], who introduced the resolution, said the United States was encouraged by the result and that the resolution was co-sponsored by the whole of the council. Bolton pointed out the effectiveness of the mission in assisting Iraqis in drafting their new constitution and said the mission will now be able to play a role in the referendum this fall to accept or reject the charter. Read a transcript of Bolton's remarks following the Security Council's vote. AP has more.