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Bush and Blair Expound Their Views on the Future of Iraq - 2003-04-09


U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair say the United Nations will play a key role in post-war Iraq. This, following a joint news conference in northern Ireland today. Amy Katz has more.

Mr. Bush said the U.S.—led coalition will move to put in place an interim authority – composed of Iraqis from inside and outside the country.

U.S. PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH
“The interim authority will serve until a permanent government can be chosen by the Iraqi people. Rebuilding of Iraq will require the support and expertise of the international community. We’re committed to working with international institutions, including the United Nations, which will have a vital role to play in this task.”

Prime Minister Blair stressed that Iraqis will run the transitional government.

TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
“This new Iraq that will emerge is not to be run either by us, or indeed the UN. That is a false choice. It will be run by the Iraqi people. All of us will do what we can to help in that process of transition.”

Earlier reports indicated Britain had wanted a more prominent role for the UN in a post-war Iraq than the Bush administration advocates. After their news conference, Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair met with leaders of Northern Ireland – to discuss reviving the stalled peace process there. They also talked about the Middle East peace process – before President Bush left – to return to Washington.

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