The U.S. and Britain have proposed a United Nations resolution supporting the creation of a sovereign Iraqi interim government. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says that the resolution provides for the continuation of a multinational force in Iraq in partnership with the Iraqi interim government:
“The resolution recognizes that there is still a need for a multinational force to remain and protect the Iraqi people while its own forces are being built up, while Iraqi forces are being built up to provide for the security of the nation.”
Once an interim government is in place, Iraqis can look forward to electing a national assembly, drafting and ratifying a new constitution, and holding a national election by the end of 2005, says Mr. Powell:
“It’s a clear path. The United States and its coalition partners will walk that path with the Iraqi people, as will, we hope, new partners from the international community. All are welcome. The international community wanted to see a new U-N resolution. They wanted to see sovereignty returned. That’s going to happen.”
Despite troubles and tragedies, “the Iraqi people have proven themselves brave,” says Mr. Powell, and “that bravery shows in the progress made over the past year”:
“We don’t often hear the good news about newly elected village and municipal governments, about new schools and clinics, about a quickly reviving private economy, and about a free press and a judicial system that works for the people.”
Iraqis have made sacrifices. “And it’s not just leaders like [Iraqi Governing Council member] Akila al-Hashima and [Iraqi Governing Council president] Izzedin Salim, who have given their lives,” says Secretary of State Powell. “It’s also the unsung heroes who have stood up for their rights and their freedom, like the people of Karbala, who refused to be intimidated by the thugs of Moqtada al-Sadr’s so-called Mahdi militia.”
They and many other Iraqis are struggling to create a democratic country. With the help of the U-N and the U.S.-led coalition, they will succeed.