5 May 2003
Multi-Party Iraqi Interim Authority to Begin Work in May
U.S. Administrator says most public services to be operational soon
By Vicki Silverman
Washington — U.S. civil administrator for Iraq, retired General Jay Garner, told reporters May 5, that he expects a group of Iraqi leaders to emerge in May to form the core of Iraq's interim government.
"By the middle of the month, you'll really see a beginning of a nucleus of an Iraqi government with an Iraqi face on it that is dealing with the coalition," Garner said.
Speaking with the press in Baghdad before traveling to the southern city of Basra, he said the leadership is expected to include Masoud Barzani, leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party; Ahmad Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress; Jalal Talabani of Patriotic Union of Kurdistan; Iyad Allawi of the Iraqi National Accord; and Abdel Azziz al-Hakim, a senior official in the Iran-based Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq. Garner noted several other Iraqis might join this collective leadership group, which would become the point of contact for the Americans and others.
Garner announced that Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, a former U.S. diplomat who headed the State Department's counter-terrorism efforts, is expected to arrive in Baghdad next week to take over as U.S. civil administrator in Iraq. Garner explained that Bremer is expected to concentrate on Iraq's political process while he would focus more on reconstruction before departing Iraq.
Turning to reconstruction, Garner noted electricity in Baghdad was now running at 50 percent capacity but with the approach of summer, it was critical to increase capacity by repairing transmission lines.
"The month of May is a key month for getting all the public services stood up or at least prospect of being stood up and getting the law enforcement system back." While military action in Iraq had caused less damage to infrastructure and fewer refugees than anticipated Garner said U.N. sanctions were slowing Iraq's recovery.
Upon their arrival in Basra, Iraq's second most populated city, Garner and his team from the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Affairs (ORHA) visited the Basra General Hospital and discussed the needs of the institution with hospital officials. Journalists from international news services traveling with Garner noted the poor conditions of the hospital and reported shortages of medicines and anesthetics.
Newly named administrator for the southeastern Iraq, Danish Ambassador Ole Wohlers Olsen, said he would be traveling to Basra at the end of the week with cash to pay doctors' salaries and meet other commitments.
"We have now a very serious job in front of us in the most mistreated part of Iraq," Olsen said of the Shiite populated region. Olsen's appointment changes ORHA's original three-region administrative division of Iraq into four regions.
Information on Garner's visit was obtained from reports published by U.S. Central Command, which can be read at http://www.centcom.mil/.
Following is a more detailed assessment of coalition efforts to aid Iraq's recovery, released by U.S. Central Command May 5, 2003.
COALITION EFFORTS AID IRAQ'S RECOVERY
CAMP DOHA, Kuwait — Coalition forces continue to assist in developing a safe and secure environment in Iraq. Among recent developments:
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