Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says Iraq's future is for Iraqis to decide. But there will be some conditions.
Mr. Rumsfeld says Iraqis will have the responsibility for making the decisions on the future shape of the country's government.
But he tells reporters at the Pentagon no one who favors Iraq's division can participate, nor anyone who represents any foreign interests, nor anyone who does not favor democracy.
The U.S. defense secretary also makes clear the former ruling Baath Party of Saddam Hussein will be excluded.
"There's no question but that this country has got to go through a de-Baathification process," he said. "The Baath Party does not fit the conditions I have described. We know what they think and therefore we know that they ought not to be participants."
Mr. Rumsfeld's comments came as members of the former Iraqi opposition and U.S. officials met in southern Iraq, promising to promote a democratic government inclusive of all Iraqis but also calling for dissolution of the Baath party.