Talks continue on the future of Iraqi administration

Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien is in Baghdad today to attend a meeting on how to build Iraq's political future.

The meeting was billed as part of the consultation process that will lead to a National Conference - which would in turn create the Iraqi Interim Authority. Mr O'Brien said that the meeting was part of the Coalition partners' commitment to see "Iraq run for Iraqis by Iraqis". It follows on from the conference at the Nasiriyah on 15 April.

Mr O'Brien said: "This is a clear signal of the British government's commitment to the Iraqi people that we will help them deliver the political future that they want for themselves.

"I hope very much that this meeting will bring together an even broader range of Iraqi participants than at Nasiriyah - including opposition exile groups and those newly liberated. I hope Iraqi women will increasingly be able to participate in this political process."

The meeting at the Baghdad Conference Centre will build on the 13 points agreed at Nasiriyah, which included:
  • Iraq must be democratic
  • the future government of Iraq should not be based on communal identity
  • the Ba'ath Party must be dissolved and its effects on society must be eliminated
  • political violence must be rejected, and Iraqis must immediately organize themselves for the task of reconstruction at both the local and national levels
  • Iraqis and the coalition must work together to tackle the immediate issues of restoring security and basic services.
Elsewhere, at his monthly press conference, Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the government was "confident" that weapons of mass destruction would soon be found in Iraq.


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