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New Iraqi Government

Iraq is a hot potato for the US, which is eager to set up an Itraqi government qhich would in fact be under its control. The US civil administrator of Iraq, Jay Garner, said that a collective interim leadership should be set up in Iraq by the middle of May. The retired US general said he expected up to nine Iraqis to form an interim leadership group that would be a point of contact for the US. The group would consist of some returned exiles and some local Iraqis, representing Iraq's ethnic and religious spectrum. Garner named Massoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party; Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress; Jalal Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Iyad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord; and Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, whose elder brother heads the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. He said that group would likely be expanded to include, for example, a Christian, and perhaps another Sunni figure. We shall see what happens in mid-May (Reuters, 6/5/03).

Ronald Hilton - 5/10/03