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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN envoy continues consultations with wide spectrum of Iraqi society

10 May 2004 United Nations Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi is continuing consultations in Iraq with representatives from a wide spectrum of society to explore the planned political transition on 30 June.

According to a spokesman travelling with the envoy, the images of United States occupation soldiers apparently torturing Iraqi prisoners has been a key topic of discussion. "It is raised in almost every meeting we attend and Mr. Brahimi has had consultations with a very wide group of Iraqis over the past three or four days," spokesman Ahmad Fawzi told UN Radio.

On Saturday, Mr. Brahimi met with the Governing Council, chaired by this month's president Ezzelding Selim. "For over 90 minutes they discussed proposals for the caretaker government to which sovereignty would be transferred on July 1," Mr. Fawzi said. "Mr. Brahimi listened to their views and answered all their questions regarding the political transition."

Also over the weekend, the Special Adviser met separately with a group of more than 30 tribal leaders, Judge Dara Nouraldin, a member of the Governing Council, and a group of cabinet ministers. In addition, he held talks with leading academics, including the Rector of Baghdad University, as well as representatives of professional associations representing, engineers, economist, accountants, lawyers, doctors, pharmacists, labour unions and the business community.

Mr. Brahimi's meetings included talks with the Deputy Commanding General in Iraq, Gen. John McCall of the United Kingdom.

The envoy's contacts served to clarify what the transition entails, according to Mr. Fawzi. "I think that now most people are on-board with what is happening," he said.

The spokesman also stressed that contrary to the impression given by some media reports, Mr. Brahimi did not propose a caretaker government composed of technocrats.

"What he did suggest was that the next Government that takes over sovereignty on July 1 should consist of men and women known for their honesty, integrity and competence in the first instance," Mr. Fawzi said. "They should have the professional capacity and competence to run the affairs of this country for the limited period of seven or eight months leading up to elections when a fully representative government will be elected."

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