Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004

About Us
Contact Us
International
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment |

International Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Arabs not convinced of power transfer

CAIRO, JUNE 28. Many Arabs were not convinced by Monday's transfer of power in Baghdad to an Iraqi Government, saying the continued presence of a large U.S. army showed America had not relinquished control.

At a government level, West Asian authorities applauded the low-key ceremony in which the U.S. administrator of Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, handed over sovereignty documents to the Iraqi Chief Justice Mahdi al-Mahmood as the Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi watched. Mr. Bremer then flew out of Iraq.

The move was a ``landmark in the history of Iraq,'' Jordan's King Abdullah II cabled the interim Iraqi leadership. He promised that Jordan would help Iraq ``regain its position as an independent and democratic nation enjoying freedom and prosperity.''

The Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher told reporters the transfer would help reduce the violence that has plagued Iraq since U.S.-led forces invaded the country in March 2003 to topple Saddam Hussein.

The Governments of Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Iran also expressed support for the transfer of power. The Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said in Cairo he hoped the interim Government would be able to ``exercise its sovereignty and power in a way that will bring it legitimacy.''

In Syria, whose Government staunchly opposed the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq, the editor-in-chief of the official Al-Baath newspaper, Mahdi Dakhlallah, said the handover was ``a step toward restoring independence and sovereignty in Iraq.''

But a Syrian analyst took a cynical view. ``Occupation will wear a new dress,'' said Haitham Kilani, an independent political researcher in Damascus. ``The occupation will remain so long as the U.S.-British forces are still stationed there.''

A straw poll in the streets of Cairo showed many Egyptians held similar views. ``While the U.S. army is there, they are the ones governing Iraq,'' said a taxi driver.

``Giving sovereignty to Iraqis is just a matter of improving the image,'' said a security guard. ``As long as the American soldiers are there, they did not really hand over control.''

In Bahrain, historian Essa Amin said all the Americans had done was hand their problems over to the Iraqi Government. ``Bremer is gone, but a new (U.S.) Ambassador is in, and the Iraqis will not have complete decision-making powers,'' Mr. Amin told the AP.

A Bahraini banker, Adel al-Abbasi, said the handover was a publicity stunt for the U.S. President George W. Bush's election campaign.

``It will not help Iraq, but it will surely help the U.S. President, who can claim to the American people that power has been transferred to the Iraqis,'' Mr. Al-Abbasi said.

In Istanbul, Mr. Bush celebrated the transfer declaring that ``the Iraqi people have their country back.

"We have kept our word' to deliver freedom and a new government to the Iraqi people, Mr. Bush said.

AP

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail

International

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Updates: Breaking News |


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | Home |

Copyright 2004, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu