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Iraq Urged to Complete Constitution by Monday

Top UN envoy in Iraq urges redoubled efforts to complete constitution by Monday

The senior United Nations envoy in Iraq today called upon all parties and their leaders to redouble their efforts to meet the new deadline of 22 August for producing a draft permanent constitution after they missed the original 15 August target date.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Special Representative (SRSG) Ashraf Qazi, who has been working almost round the clock since last January’s elections to ensure the inclusion of all sectors in the writing the new constitution, pledged the continued support of the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

“Mr. Qazi stressed the importance of the process over the coming week,” a statement issued by UNAMI said. “He urged all parties to continue to hold their discussions in a structured, transparent and inclusive manner, with the best interests of all the Iraqi people as an overriding priority.

“He emphasized the importance of these efforts as they would be crucial for Iraq’s political transition and the successful holding of the referendum (on the constitution) in October and elections under a permanent constitution, scheduled for December,” it added.

“The SRSG and UNAMI’s Office of Constitutional Support will continue to promote national dialogue and consensus-building in the drafting of a national constitution by the people of Iraq, and will provide assistance to the Transitional National Assembly as it seeks to fulfill its work in the coming days.”

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