NOTE: The following was received via full text e-mail direct from CPA Public Affairs, Iraq. There is no 3d party involvement. This was not lifted from any web site, consequently "no link". There are no copyright considerations.
June 9, 2004
Allawi press briefing at the former Governing Council headquarters on Wednesday, June 9 by Talek Harris, AFP.
Iraqi prime minister Iyad Allawi gave a press briefing on Wednesday a day after the UN passed a new resolution on the country's future. Speaking ahead of a cabinet meeting with his ministers sitting around a large oval table, he gave a statement in Arabic and answered one question in Arabic and two in English.
"It's a great day that future generations will remember as the day when Iraq has transferred from the era of occupation to a new era and got back its complete sovereignty.
"It's a day when the international community responded to all of the Iraqis and voted in favour of resolution 460 on Iraq stating that the interim government will be handed full power without any monitoring from outside.
"It's a historical date when freedom and democracy prevailed with the help of our friends and alliances and the officers and soldiers of the coalition. As was mentioned in the resolution the interim government will be fully committed and will act honestly so as not to take any decision that will affect the future of Iraq until there is an elected government at the beginning of next year.
"The new resolution guarantees that the interim government will construct the armed forces and security forces in partnership with the multinational forces and what's more important is that the international forces which will be working under the umbrella of the United Nations and under the review of the Iraqi government. After 12 months from the date of the resolution the Iraqi government might end the task of the multinational forces whenever it thinks it's the proper time, when Iraqi forces alone are able to maintain security all over the country and stop the killing and the explosions.
"Occupation will be a matter of history on June 30 when Iraq will be a country with full, independent sovereignty, a recognised nation stretching bridges of cooperation with all nations worldwide according to the principle of mutual interests and respect.
"It's now the time to start serious work on an inclusive national assembly that should represent all Iraqis without any discrimination based on religion or political dogma, to prepare for the elections that will be held in January 2005.
"There will be free and fair elections on January 31 to choose an interim national committee which will appoint another interim government responsible for writing the permanent Iraqi constitution, upon which a permanent government will be based from December 31 2005.
Asked whether there was some paradox in saying that Iraq will return to full sovereignty as the new government will not have the power of veto over the multinational force's military operations:
"Go and read the message we sent to the UN Security Council and you will find that there is no paradox."
Asked whether he would negotiate a separate agreement on the status the multinational force:
"We will discuss with the multinational forces here in Baghdad with the Ministry of Defence the mechanics and mechanisms for the deployment of the multinational forces.
"The resolution is very clear that once Iraqi forces think it's fit then we will ask them the multinational forces to leave Iraq."
Asked whether his opposition Iraqi National Accord movement had had any contacts with the CIA during its campaign against the former Saddam Hussein regime during the 1990s:
"Myself and my organisation were part of the Iraqi political movement, the liberation movement of Iraq, and because of our efforts to destabilise the regime of Saddam Hussein we were in touch with a lot of agencies, including the government of the United States, and we were in touch with a lot of intelligence agencies across the world who supported the struggle of the Iraqi people to get rid of Saddam.
"So really it was a matter of the Iraqi opposition as a liberation movement to get in touch with these institutions and these governments.
... I was the head of the political organisation and I was in touch with at least 15 intelligence services across the world and the region so there is not problem there. We do not feel ashamed of being in touch ... to get rid of the evil regime of Saddam."
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