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Press Statement

The United States Central Command
April 15, 2003


Visions of Freedom: 100 Iraqis Meet in Nasiriyah and Create Basis for New Government

Background:  On April 15 near the town of Nasiriyah, up to a hundred Iraqis representing every part of Iraq came together to discuss the visions they have for their own future and how best to chart a course toward a democratic representative government.  Also at the meeting were the President's Special Envoy Ambassador Khalilzad, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Ryan Crocker, other Department officials and coalition representatives.  At the end of the session, the Iraqi participants voted and approved a final statement proposing 13 principles for a future Iraqi government.

News Release: United States Central Command Headquarters
The United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) is one of nine Unified Combatant Commands assigned operational control of U.S. combat forces.  Headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Florida, USCENTCOM's Commander, Gen. Tommy R. Franks , reports directly to the Secretary of Defense, who in turn, reports to the President of the United States. [More USCENTCOM Releases]

13 point statement released at the end of the meeting

  1. Iraq must be democratic.
  2. The future government of Iraq should not be based on communal identity.
  3. A future government should be organized as a democratic federal system, but on the basis of countrywide consultation.
  4. The rule of law must be paramount.
  5. That Iraq must be built on respect for diversity including respect for the role of women.
  6. The meeting discusses the role of religion in state and society.
  7. The meeting discused the principle that Iraqis must choose their leaders, not have them imposed from outside.
  8. That political violence must be rejected, and that Iraqis must immediately organize themselves for the task of reconstruction at both the local and national levels.
  9. That Iraqis and the coalition must work together to tackle the immediate issues of restoring security and basic services.
  10. That the Baath party must be dissolved and its effects on society must be eliminated.
  11. That there should be an open dialogue with all national political groups to bring them into the process.
  12. That the meeting condemns the looting that has taken place and the destruction of documents.
  13. The Iraqi participation in the Nasiriyah meeting voted that there should be another meeting in 10 days in a location to be determined with additional Iraqi participants and to discuss procedures for developing an Iraqi interim authority.

 


Released on April 15, 2003

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