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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


08 March 2004

Bush Welcomes Iraqi Signing of Transitional Administrative Law

Notes key protections enshrined within the text

President Bush congratulated the Iraqi Governing Council and the people of Iraq on the March 8 signing of the Transitional Administrative Law, which establishes a legal framework for Iraq's transition to a democratically elected sovereign government.

"The adoption of this law marks a historic milestone in the Iraqi people's long journey from tyranny and violence to liberty and peace. While difficult work remains to establish democracy in Iraq, today's signing is a critical step in that direction," Bush said in a March 8 press statement.

Bush noted that the document provides protection for the basic rights of all Iraqi citizens regardless of gender, religion or ethnic origin.

Following is the text of the president's press statement:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(Dallas, Texas)
March 8, 2004

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I congratulate the Iraqi Governing Council and the Iraqi people on completing the Transitional Administrative Law for Iraq. This document is an important step toward the establishment of a sovereign government on June 30. It lays the foundation for democratic elections and for a new constitution, which will be written by an elected Iraqi assembly and approved by the Iraqi people.

This law provides a framework for continued cooperation among Iraq, members of the international Coalition, and the United Nations as the Iraqi people make progress towards democracy. And it provides the essential freedoms and rights to all Iraqis regardless of gender, religion, or ethnic origin -- including freedom of religion, freedom of speech and assembly, the right to a fair trial, and the right to choose their own representatives.

The adoption of this law marks a historic milestone in the Iraqi people's long journey from tyranny and violence to liberty and peace. While difficult work remains to establish democracy in Iraq, today's signing is a critical step in that direction.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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