Supporting the Bill of Rights
April 28 Baghdad meeting
"advances the national dialogue among Iraqis"
April 29, 2003
State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher told the news media on April
28 that the choice of a new government in Iraq "belongs to the
Iraqi people." He was speaking at the State Department daily briefing.
Boucher said over 250 Iraqi representatives, from various levels of
Iraqi society and ethnic groups, from inside Iraq and from the expatriate
and opposition communities, convened in Baghdad "to advance the
national dialogue among Iraqis regarding composition of an Iraqi interim
Also at the Baghdad meeting were U.S. Presidential Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad,
Office of Reconstruction Director Jay Garner, and Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State for Near Eastern Affairs Ryan Crocker.
The Baghdad meeting builds upon the historic April 15 meeting held near
Nasiriya. "That was the first of several meetings designed to provide
Iraqis their own forum to discuss their visions for the future, participation
in the Iraqi interim authority, and how best to chart a course towards
democratic government," Boucher said.
The U.S. expects that the interim authority that results from this process
will be broad-based, and fully representative, Boucher said, including
members from all of Iraq's ethnic groups, regions and the diaspora.