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SLUG: 4-0061 Iraq Constitution React
DATE:>
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=3/8/2004

TYPE=ENGLISH PROGRAMS REPORT

TITLE= Iraq Constitution React

NUMBER=4-0061

BYLINE= Susan Yackee

PHONE= 202-203-4247

DATELINE= Washington

Inserts are available in Dalet - SOD/English News Now/Reports

TEXT: Iraq's Governing Council, in a special ceremony today (Monday) in Baghdad, signed an interim constitution for the nation. The action clears the way for restoration of Iraqi Sovereignty. Authorities now turn their attention to forming a temporary Iraqi government to take over control from the Coalition Provisional Authority on June 30th.

Thomas Keaney, is Executive Director of the Foreign Policy Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington. He sees the signing of the constitution as a positive step.

/// BEGIN KEANEY ACT 1 ///

It shows a couple of things. On the one hand it shows that the Iraqis.the Shiites, the Sunni and the Kurds. are at least willing to discuss things politically. I think also that it shows that the Iraqis, at least a group of Iraqis, are willing to cooperate with the United States and see that this is the way. In other words, I think it's a positive development in terms of the relationship with the United States

/// END KEANEY ACT 1 ///

Despite the show of solidarity in signing the new constitution, Mr. Keaney does not believe the Iraqi Governing Council will be able to reign in the violence plaguing the nation.

/// BEGIN KEANEY ACT 2 ///

I think they are just going to have to defeat it. I think the violence is coming against the Iraqi Governing Council. The short-term way to defeat that is.well, the long term way is for the Iraqis themselves to stand up a police force and some sort of security service to take care of it. In the short term I think the United States is going to have to hold the line.

/// END KEANEY ACT 2 ///

Thomas Keaney, a Middle East expert with Johns Hopkins University in Washington, says more United Nations involvement in Iraq would be a positive step for the nation.

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