Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer on Tuesday was named as Iraq's new president after former Foreign Minister Adnan Pachachi turned down the post.
The Americans had favored Pachachi, 81, while most of the Governing Council backed al-Yawer.
Later in the day, in his first public remarks after being appointed, al-Yawer said that he wanted the United
Nations Security Council to grant the country "full sovereignty" in a resolution now under discussion.
"We the Iraqis look forward to being granted full sovereignty through a Security Council resolution to enable us to rebuild a free, independent, democratic and federal unified homeland," Yawer told a news conference.
In this context, Hoshiyar Zebari, newly reappointed as foreign minister on Tuesday was heading for New York to lobby the United Nations for full sovereignty when the U.S. occupation authority relinquishes power on June 30.
Al-Yawer became President of Iraq Interim Council on May 17, 2004, having been chosen in an emergency meeting following the assassination of Ezzedine Salim. A Sunni Muslim and Shamar tribal leader from Mosul, al-Yawer is a civil engineer by training.
He spent much of the past two decades in Saudi Arabia where he became vice president of Hicap Technology Co. In Mosul, al-Yawer's hometown, crowds swept into the streets to celebrate the news, cheering and firing weapons in the air.
On Friday, the most powerful post, the prime ministership, went to Iyad Allawi, a US-backed Shiite Muslim with military and CIA connections. The presidency was to go to a Sunni Muslim Arab. Both Pachachi and al-Yawer are Sunnis.
On Tuesday, Allawi said that Iraq needs help from U.S. and other multinational forces to help defeat "the enemies of Iraq." During a ceremony presenting his 30-member Cabinet, Allawi said Iraqis "like other peoples of the world" do not enjoy living under foreign military occupation.
Nevertheless, he said: "We will need the participation of the multinational forces to help in defeating the enemies of Iraq. We will enter into alliances with our allies to accomplish that."
Earlier reports on Tuesday said Adnan Pachachi had been chosen as new Iraqi interim president. Pachachi was the preferred choice of the United States and UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.
Adnan Pachachi, born in Baghdad in 1923, is the scion of a notable Sunni family with a long tradition in Iraqi politics.
The post of Iraq's premiership was the exclusive domain of his father, his uncle and his father-in-law. He is a member of the Iraqi Governing Council and held its presidency in January 2004.
He already served as foreign minister during the regime of the presidents Abdul Salam Aref and Abdul Rahman Aref in 1965-67 and as permanent representative to the United Nations in 1959-65 and 1967-68. He landed on Iraqi soil in May 2003 after 32 years in exile.
In the meantime, a top Bush administration official Tuesday hailed the appointment of a new Iraqi government
and said the Coalition Provisional Authority would remain
sovereign until June 30 to help the new leadership phase
The official, speaking to reporters on condition of
anonymity, also confirmed that the Iraqi Governing Council,
in office since July, had voted to dissolve effective
immediately to allow the new government to begin taking
over its responsibilities.
In addition, the official said the new Cabinet would begin negotiations on the status of U.S. and other occupation forces in Iraq after June 30 "fairly soon."
© 2004 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)