Amid more bad news from Iraq and increasing dissatisfaction among voters, President Bush will give the first of a series of six speeches today detailing his plans for the June 30 “transfer of power” in Iraq. The speeches are meant to acquaint the public with a joint United States-Great Britain U.N. Security Council resolution regarding the transfer. But Iraqs proposed “sovereignty” will likely disappoint audiences in all countries involved. Key elements follow:
Deputy U.S. Ambassador James Cunningham says the resolution would give the Iraqis no power to make foreign troops leave.
No date is set for coalition troops to leave Iraq. U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will appoint a president, prime minister, two vice presidents and various ministers who will serve until the scheduled elections in January 2005. This new interim government will supposedly control the $10 billion Development Fund for Iraq, though a deputy in Iraqs foreign ministry claims that the U.S. is actually skimming from the oil revenues supplying the fund.
France, Germany and others want the resolution to specify a date for coalition withdrawal. British and U.S. diplomats say the mandate can be reviewed after a year.
The U.S. will not pressure the new government to retain the interim constitution, which guarantees minority rights. Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has protested these guarantees as undemocratic; Iraqi Kurds have insisted upon them.
American and international advisers will stay on after the June 30 transfer. Security issues for the new embassy, which will be one of the worlds largest, have not yet been resolved.
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