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Blair: Coalition Must Do 'What it Takes' to Complete Job in Iraq - 2004-04-17

British Prime Minister Tony Blair says the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq must do "what it takes" to complete its job of creating a working democracy in Iraq.

The British leader said the "vast majority" of Iraqis want democracy. And he said coalition forces will defeat "the fanatics, the extremists, and the terrorists" who want to see "progress halted" in Iraq.

Prime Minister Blair made the comments on British radio after his talks Friday at the White House with President Bush.

The U.S. and British leaders said at a joint news conference that sovereignty in Iraq will be handed over to an interim government on June 30, according to a plan being developed by the United Nations. Mr. Bush said a plan being drawn up by U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi is "broadly acceptable to the Iraqi people."

The proposal calls for dissolving the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and installing a caretaker government that would rule until elections are held in January of next year.