New transitional government to be formed in Iraq by June 2004
American administrators will hand over sovereignty to a new transitional government by June, the Iraqi Governing Council said Saturday, declaring an accelerated U.S. plan for ending the occupation.
The plan would mean the end of the U.S.-led coalition administration in Iraq, but not the end of the American troop presence, the AP reported. The new Iraqi government would negotiate an accord on the status of U.S. forces in the country.
From Washington, the White House welcomed the new plan in a statement, calling it "an important step toward realizing the vision of Iraq as a democratic, pluralistic country at peace with its neighbors."
The new timetable followed talks between the 24-member council and the chief administrator, L. Paul Bremer, who returned Thursday from Washington after talks with President Bush and top national security advisers.
Council member Ahmad Chalabi, appearing at a news conference with other members, said the selection of a transitional government should be completed by May. The government, he said, will be "internationally recognized" and with "full sovereignty."
Council President Jalal Talabani said the transitional administration would be selected after consultations with "all parties" in Iraqi society.
Council members also said the plans called for a permanent constitution to be drafted and an elected administration chosen by the end of 2005. (Albawaba.com)
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