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Democracy Will Triumph in Iraq,  Allawi, Bush say  - 2004-09-23

President Bush has welcomed Iraqi interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi to the White House. Both men say plans for Iraqi elections in four months are still on track. From the White House, correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

Prime Minister Allawi says elections planned for January may not be perfect and will undoubtedly be an excuse for violence, but they will happen on schedule.

"I know that some have speculated, even doubted, whether this date can be met," he said. "So let me be absolutely clear that elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time."

President Bush says those elections will be another important step on Iraq's path to democracy.

"The enemies of freedom are using suicide bombing, beheadings and other horrific acts to try to block progress," Mr. Bush said. "We are sickened by the atrocities. But we will never be intimidated. And freedom is winning."

President Bush told Prime Minister Allawi that he will stand with Iraq until freedom and justice prevail because he says U.S. security and Iraq's future depend on it.