Monday, June 28, 2004

U.S. hands over sovereignty in Iraq

Sovereignty has been transferred to an interim Iraqi government today, two days ahead of schedule. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari said that the formal handover of power was advanced to thwart possible attacks aimed at disrupting the ceremony. "I believe that we will challenge these terrorists, criminals, Saddamists and anti-democratic forces by bringing even the date of the handover forward," he told reporters in Istanbul. The ceremony was attended by Iraqi government officials, and Paul Bremer, the top U.S. administrator in the country.

Although the government, led by interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi will nominally have "full" sovereignty, it may not make long-term policy decisions and will not have control over the foreign troops in Iraq. Prime Minister Allawi also announced yesterday that Saddam Hussein will be transferred to Iraqi custody "very, very soon." In an interview, he said, "We have the forces, we have the judicial system, and he is going to go to court. It's going to be a just trial, unlike the trials that he gave to the Iraqi people."

Let's hope that the installation of the new government has a significant effect on the widespread violence.

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