Monday, June 14, 2004

"Hi everybody. I'm new to this business, so you have to cope with me!"
With this casual introduction, Sheikh Ghazi al-Yawar, the first president of Iraq ever to visit Washington, launched into a news conference at the National Press Club after meeting President George W. Bush and other world leaders at last week's G8 summit in Georgia.

Politicians and analysts alike agree that Mr Yawar - an interim appointee whose term will last until elections early next year - made a strong impression in his first foray into international diplomacy...

A Sunni with a strong tribal base, who more recently worked as a telecoms executive in Saudi Arabia, Mr Yawar has been critical of the US failure to ensure security in Iraq.

But standing alongside George W. Bush at the Sea Island summit, Mr Yawar warmly thanked the US president and people for their support, and affirmed their common goals of establishing a "free, democratic, federal Iraq; a country that is a source of stability to the Middle East".

In Washington, he bristled at areporter's suggestion that the caretaker government would exercise only "alleged" sovereignty after the June 30 handover of authority.
And good for you for registering your displeasure at a reporters bias disguised as a question!

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