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Handover heralds Iraq's new future


Handover heralds Iraq's new future

The Prime Minister has called the handover of sovereignty in Iraq an 'important staging post on the journey of the people of Iraq towards a new future'.

Tony Blair was speaking at a press conference with US President George Bush at the NATO summit in Istanbul on 28 June.

Heads of government at the summit agreed to assist Iraq with the training of its security forces. They also announced that NATO will take on command of four new reconstruction teams in Afghanistan and deploy extra troops to support the forthcoming elections.

Mr Blair said that the situation in Iraq would continue to be "difficult and dangerous" as former Saddam supporters, terrorists and extremists try to prevent the creation of a new Iraq.

The battle for Iraq and its future is "the frontline of the battle against terrorism and the new security threat that we face", he said.

"And the reason why it is so important that NATO fulfils its functions in respect of Afghanistan and Iraq, is that in both those countries the same struggle for democracy and freedom is going on."

The Prime Minister said that NATO's role in today's world is to support moves towards the values of democracy, freedom, justice and the rule of law, "because ultimately our best guarantee of security lies in the values that are not values that are American, or British or western values, but are values of humanity".

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