Powell says U.S. awaits brahimi decision on Iraq leaders
Iraq-USA, Politics, 5/29/2004
US Secretary of State Colin Powell says he's pleased that Iyad Allawi has the kind of support in the Iraqi Governing Council to be recommended for the position of prime minister in an interim Iraqi government, but that the United States will wait for the recommendations of the special U.N. representative on the matter.
"[W]e are working with Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, the Secretary General's representative, and he is the one we are waiting to hear from: not only with respect to the prime minister, but the president, the two vice presidents, as well as all of the cabinet ministers," Powell said at a May 28 briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center. "[W]e have no position on any candidate at this moment, because we are waiting to hear from Ambassador Brahimi, and he needs time to complete his work," he added.
Powell opened his briefing for members of the foreign media with a current assessment of the situation in Iraq. On the transition of sovereignty from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to an interim Iraqi government, he said, "Things seem to be moving along."
Regarding the U.S. presence in Iraq after the CPA ceases to exist June 30, he noted that the State Department is hard at work on readying a new U.S. embassy for Baghdad, and that Ambassador John Negroponte has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate and "is preparing himself for his new assignment" in Iraq.
Powell said the U.S. is working hard to secure passage of a new U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq. "I'm rather pleased with the comments I've received so far. They are rather constructive. There are still some issues that have to be resolved, and we'll be working on that in the days and weeks ahead," the Secretary said.
The Iraqi security situation remains challenging, Powell said, but recent events in Fallujah and in southern Iraq "would suggest that those hot spots are coming under control."
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