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State Department Official to Administer Iraq

Bush Appoints State Department Official to Administer Iraq

By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 6, 2003 – President Bush announced today he has appointed a State Department counterterrorism expert to administer Iraq.

L. Paul Bremer III will serve as civil administrator of post-war Iraq, Bush said during brief remarks at the White House today. He said Bremer is a man of "enormous experience" and called Bremer a "can-do person."

Bremer, a former ambassador and head of the State Department's counterterrorism efforts, will oversee all civil matters in Iraq. Retired Army Gen. Jay Garner, currently the highest-ranking American official in Iraq, will report to Bremer. Garner is the head of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance. Both will report to the secretary of defense.

"He shares the same values as … most Americans share," Bush said of Bremer, "and that is our deep desire to have an orderly country in Iraq that is free and at peace, where the average citizen has a chance to achieve his or her dreams."

Earlier, at the State Department, Secretary of State Colin Powell announced that Poland will play a larger role in humanitarian assistance in Iraq.

"The Polish people have been good friends to the United States (and), more importantly, good friends to the people of Iraq, willing to join a coalition that liberated the people of Iraq," Powell said during a joint press conference with Polish Foreign Minister Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz.

The minister said his country is ready to participate in stabilization efforts and that success or failure in these efforts "will have broad consequences, international consequences."

He also said success depends on getting as many foreign partners as possible to work toward the common goal of a stable Iraq. "To much extent, our common success will depend on that," Cimoszewicz said.


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