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5/29/04 - RETURNING SOVEREIGNTY TO IRAQIS - 2004-06-01


In Iraq, control of two more ministries, the Ministry of Transportation and the Ministry of the Environment, has been turned over to Iraqis. This is a process that began several months ago and will culminate on June 30th when complete sovereignty will be turned over to an Iraqi interim government. At that time, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist and will be dissolved. That, says President George W. Bush, is the coalition's goal:

“We want there to be a complete and real transfer of sovereignty so that the Iraqi citizens realize the fate of their country is now their responsibility. And we’ll be there to help.”

President Bush says that the coalition will help in a variety of ways:

“We’ll help to make sure the reconstruction money we have set aside is well spent. We’ll help by getting -- to continue to work with other countries to help aid a free Iraq. We’ll do what we need to do to help the interim government succeed in getting to the period of free elections.”

After June 30th, the next important step will be for Iraqis to write and approve a new constitution. The U.S., says President Bush, never intended Iraq to look like America:

“Our intention is for Iraq to be free and stable and whole -- at peace with its neighbors. A free Iraq will help change the history of the greater Middle East. A free Iraq will show the rest of the world that when people are given a chance to raise their families in peace and security, a civil society that’s stable and hopeful will develop.”

Coalition forces and the Iraqi people have the same enemies: terrorists, illegal militias, and Saddam Hussein loyalists. But those enemies will be defeated as Iraqi democracy takes root.

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