Brahimi Attends Emergency Session Of Iraqi GC
BRAHIMI ATTENDS EMERGENCY SESSION OF IRAQI GOVERNING
New York, May 17 2004 6:00PM
United Nations Special Adviser Lakhdar Brahimi today met with the top United States official in Iraq, L. Paul Bremer, and visited with members of the Iraqi Governing Council, who were meeting in emergency session following the assassination of the current President Ezz El-Din Salim.
In a stat ement released in Baghdad, Mr. Brahimi voiced "great shock" at the killing of Mr. Salim, who was blown up by a suicide car bomber earlier Monday. "We condemn this criminal act, which has taken the life of one of Iraq's most loyal and patriotic citizens, a man who made every sacrifice for his country, who worked sincerely and selflessly so that Iraq may regain its sovereignty and strength," he said.
Mr. Brahimi, who is currently in Iraq helping to set up a caretaker government for the transfer of sovereignty from the US-led Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) on 30 June, noted that he and his delegation had just spent three days with Mr. Salim in Erbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
"We were able to appreciate the depth of his knowledge, his broad mindedness, his political vision, his humanity and his profound belief in the ability of the citizens of Iraq to overcome this difficult phase in the life of their nation and to build the new Iraq," he said.
In addition to his visit to the Governing Council meeting, Mr. Brahimi met with a Governing Council member who represents the Chaldo-Assyrian community in Iraq, Yonadem Kanna, and then with the Minister of Defence, Ali Alawi.
Yesterday Mr. Brahimi had a breakfast meeting with Mr. Salim, and then continued talking with him for a total of two hours.
He then met with members of the troika, made up of the current, past and future presidents of the Governing Council. That meeting, which also included Mr. Bremer and US envoy Robert Blackwell, continued through lunch.
Mr. Brahimi then returned to Baghdad in the afternoon, and in the evening he met with Ayad Alawi, who is chair of the Wifaq ("consensus") Movement.
On Saturday Mr. Brahimi attended the National Conference on Sovereignty and Democracy, organized by the Iraqi Council for Peace and Solidarity. Some 800 delegates attended from all over Iraq, including a number of members of the Iraqi Governing Council. Mr. Salim was one of the speakers, as was Mr. Brahimi.
In the afternoon, he met another prominent Kurdish leader, Jalal Talabani, before attending a session of the Iraqi Kurdistan National Assembly. For 90 minutes, he took questions from the audience, which included all 120 members of the parliamentary group as well as 80 other guests.
On Saturday evening, he met again with Masoud Barzani, the head of the Kurdish Democratic Party, with whom he had held talks Friday.