BAGHDAD, Iraq – The following is a transcript of the remarks delivered at the swearing-in ceremony of the interim Iraqi Government:
AL-YAWER, INTERIM PRESIDENT OF IRAQ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Good evening.
Congratulations to the ministers. We have exchanged kisses, so you can claim your share of kisses so that we live up to equality amongst all people and citizens.In the name of God, most compassionate, most merciful, brethren and sisters, the citizens of Iraq, peace be upon all of you. It pleases me in this blessed day that God willing to stand before congratulating you and myself that we regain sovereignty that we've always longed for.
This Iraq that was in the forefront of people to take independence in the '30s of last century and the cradle of the oldest of civilization that coexisted and continue to coexist, where all people coexist together. Before us there's a challenge and a burden, and we ask God Almighty to give us the patience and guidance to take this country, whose people deserve all goodness, and this work has to be collective amongst people and government in the spirit of one family, protecting our country and take care of our own wounds and overlook and overcome the grievances. We in the government, we ask God Almighty to fill our hearts with mercy and clarity of vision and steadfastness. We remember and recall the Koranic verse that says, "Oh God, give us guidance and mercy." The prime minister will address you now, explaining and clarifying the agenda for the government. May God protect Iraq and its citizens.
Peace be upon all of you.
IBRAHIM AL-JAAFARI, INTERIM VICE PRESIDENT OF IRAQ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): Mr. President, citizens, ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure and my honor to read you the letter from Mr. Bremer this morning; this day that we consider a victory, a big victory to all the forces of goodness in Iraq and the starting of the rising up that we're all striving for. I ask God Almighty that our efforts and the efforts of those sincere people will be crowned with victory and success. This letter came from the Provisional Authority: "Mr. Judge Methat Mahmud (ph), as it is recognized in the U.N. Resolution 1546, 2004, the task of the Provisional Authority will end on the 28th of June, and at this time, the occupation will end and the interim Iraqi government will assume the complete sovereignty on behalf of the Iraqi people. "We welcome the steps of Iraq toward assuming its legitimate role among all free countries of the world." Bremer, the administrator, peace be upon you.
ALLAWI, INTERIM PRIME MINISTER OF IRAQ (THROUGH TRANSLATOR): In the name of God, most compassionate, most merciful, Mr. President, Vice President, Iraqi people, peace be upon all of you. Congratulations for the sovereignty transfer.
And we pledge that we'll move forward toward a secure future where prosperity, justice will prevail.
And in this dear occasion, we will remember our martyrs, those who lit the candles for a future -- for a path, for a happy future. And I convey my congratulations to our people and remember the sufferings in the past of our people. And also we salute the forces and peoples that stood by us, like Jordan, Syria, Turkey and others, as our people was living under the tyranny of Saddam. And also I have to salute the coalition countries, especially United States, Britain, Italy, Sweden, Japan, South Korea and all the other coalition countries that helped us liberate Iraq from Saddam and his gang.
And we extend the hand of peace to all of them. Dear free people, our dear Iraq is now at a setback, but it is a very temporary setback, and we will rise up after that with the -- like mountains, standing up very firm. And we will protect all the people regardless of religion, color or any other consideration, so every Iraqi will have the right to their unified, united Iraq where brotherhood and justice prevail.
And a national unity and tolerance and brotherly behavior and spirit of peace and prosperity will prevail. Changing this to reality is a matter that will take our fullest consideration and dedication.
This will be our agenda, and that will prevail over all of Iraq. The national unity, dear brothers, dear free brothers, is a sacred issue.
And the pluralism of national origin, religion and others should be a factor of progression, not divisiveness. It is time that we helped each other and cooperated, we listen to the opinion and the other opinion, and we live according to Islamic values and the message of our prophet when he said all Muslims are equal like the two teeth of the comb. Please let us not be afraid by those outlaws that are fighting Islam and Muslims, because God is with us.
Those are the grandsons of the heretics of Islam; they were rejected by history.
They are targeting our people, supported by some mercenaries of Saddam and his gang. Those transgressors, some of them already went to hellfire, and some others are waiting for their turn.
This gang that had dominated over our people and had went in coalition with the enemies of Islam, they will end up in disgrace and failure. And here I caution those Baathists who have not committed crimes in the past, I ask them to stay away from the mercenaries of Saddam. Those who pledge to continue in their crimes, I ask all of those Baathists to fight the enemies of the people and to inform the government of any suspicious activities they see. The Iraqi people are asked to tackle those challenges by scrutinizing any suspicious activity and informing the government and the police. Those mercenaries that came to Iraq from different countries to attack the Iraqi people, we, God willing, and with the support of our people, we will be on the lookout for them, and we will chase them and bring them to justice to get their fair punishment. The decision by your government to invoke and engage the United Nations and the international peace force is a major and positive step so that we can tackle all the issues of Iraq:
regaining the peace on the internal front and to bring back the police force; and to form an army according to constitutional, national and ethical values; and promoting and developing the ministry of defense and merging the national militia in the army. All of those armed forces will be the hand that strikes all those who will try to bring Iraq back to the old times. The army is the Iraqi army, not the Saddam army.
They are our brothers and sons.
Those who had not been brought back into the army will be rehabilitated to go back to the civic sector or to retire as honored people. Dear brethren who are set free now, the transformation from the dictatorship to the civil society and democracy, this is another major task of our government so that we have an Iraq -- a federal Iraq, united Iraq.
This task is a hard task, a com objectiveness so that we can take care of the futures of our people. Dear free brethren, Iraq will never be isolated just like Saddam wanted it to be.
It will not be outside of history.
We have to slowly and steadily move forward with the principles that will preserve our people and values that (inaudible) from the sovereignty and common interests and the balancing of those interests. We have to be active and interact with what goes on in the world. Iraq, God willing, with their resources, both human and agricultural, touristic, oil and other resources, is in the center of action in the world, not on the margin. That's why we have to strengthen our relationship with the United States and the European Union and the regional organizations like the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference, and other like OPEC and UNESCO and the IMF and the WTO and the Cooperation and Security in Europe, and all the other organizations, so that we can -- and also NATO and also Southeast Asian organizations -- all that to serve the interests of Iraq and its people and help to re-enforce security and stability. That's why I extend the hand of peace to Iran and Turkey, and also the hand of brotherhood and love to Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, asking them to stand with us and help us to build brotherly relationships where common interests prevail.
We are, after all, brothers. And we are to protect the interests of our people.
And we have to work together to handle the problems of the area in a civilized manner and to harness our relationship to the interest of our people and the progress of our people and prosperity of our people and the security of the region. And I use this opportunity to salute many other important countries like Jordan, United Arab Emirates and Egypt, and salute the brotherly countries that sympathized with us like Bahrain and Oman and Pakistan and our friend, President Musharraf, for their support to Iraq. And I also salute Bangladesh and India for their participating in the multinational forces. Dear brother, restoring life to the economic sector and fighting unemployment and building infrastructure like power, water, sewage, and offering health services and educational services, and building our reserve of hard currency, and dealing with the problems that accumulated over the past decades, and rethinking our investment laws to protect the national employment and workforce, and promoting the private sector and relying on the resources of Iraq -- all of those are factors that are necessary for our development. Also developing the workforce, this will be our agenda on the economic and financial situations. This is hard because Saddam's policies led to the loss of billions of dollars in the area of oil for food.
And the money for salaries and wages, we are trying to work hard to reschedule or have the debt forgiven in our negotiations with the lending countries and the IMF and other entities. In addition to that, our production of oil is regressing, is going back, because of the terrorists and their targeting of power and oil facilities. So this will take time, maybe a year or two, until we build a strong and healthy economy.
But that shouldn't mean that we are going to live in deficiency in the next few years.
But we will move forward, God willing, to what's building and working gradually until we get to our goals. Our government will work in a clear agenda that has priorities to tackle the serious matters first and put in place linchpins for progression on the economic infrastructure so that the returns to the Iraqi people will be quick, the financial returns will be good. And we will study the privatization and consider their returns to promote investment.
And here I call all the countries of the world to participate in supporting Iraq and rebuilding Iraq. Dear brothers, the cabinet has almost finished its agenda, and we will present it to you and it will be ready within a few days. And in a few days, Iraq will radiate with stability and security. And we will work positively with the neighbors and the friends, and we will reciprocate by two steps for every step given to Iraq by others and will work toward the security and tranquility and peace of our people. I call you for putting your efforts in being patient in that direction. I salute our scholars and our religious authorities, Muslims, Christians, Shia and Sunni.
At the forefront of that, Ayatollah Sistani. I call all our sheiks and tribal leaders and all the leaders of our political movements and our social organizations to keep their voice loud and clear, to let the word of right prevail, and to fight the terrorists and to encourage the rule of law and to allow our judicial entities to exercise their role in the society, the rule of law and allowing justice to be objective and neutral.
Our safety evolves in the society, and we are working in that direction. Dear free brethren, I warn the forces of terror once again, we will not forget who stood by us and who stood against us in this crisis. Here I arouse the efforts of people to defend the sacred places and the country.
I call on all the heroes of the past, all the regions in Iraq and the sons of all Iraq, and I'll arouse their efforts to eradicate the foreign terrorists that are killing our people and destroying our country. May God be with Iraq, and may God make it a great country, and may God make Iraq a factor of stability and security in the region, and we ask God to help us manage Iraq. And peace be upon all of you.
Transcript provided by The Federal Document Clearing House.