Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, a secular Shiite selected for his position last week, presided over a ceremony in Baghdad presenting the new interim government, saying it would need the help of U.S. and other multinational forces to help defeat “the enemies of Iraq,” the Associated Press reported.
The naming of al-Yawer to the largely ceremonial role broke a deadlock over the composition of the interim government, which will assume power June 30. The U.S.-appointed governing council decided to dissolve itself immediately rather than remain in office until the transfer of sovereignty.
U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi oversaw the formation of the 33-member interim government. He announced that Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite from the Dawa Party, and Rowsch Shaways of the Kurdish Democratic Party are to serve as temporary vice presidents, according to The New York Times.
Brahimi’s first choice for interim president and the Bush administration’s favored candidate, veteran Sunni politician Adnan Pachachi, turned down the post.
President Bush praised the interim government Tuesday, saying it represented a broad cross section of society and had the “talent” to lead the country.
But he said the placement of the temporary government might be met with increased, rather than decreased, violence.
“There’s still violent people who want to stop progress. Their strategy hasn’t changed. They want to kill innocent lives and shake our will. They’re not going to shake our will,” Bush told reporters in the White House Rose Garden, according to the AP.
Indeed, a car bomb exploded Tuesday outside the Baghdad headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan — one of the two main Kurdish parties — killing at least three people and injuring 20. At the time, people inside were celebrating the anniversary of the party’s founding.
President Bush said the installment of the interim government sends “a clear signal that terrorists can’t win.”
Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa Tuesday described al-Yawer, a civil engineer and tribal leader from the northern town of Mosul, as “an outstanding and well-known man with a positive history,” Reuters reported.
Al-Yawer last week criticized the U.N. resolution under discussion in New York for giving Iraqis only limited control over the American troops that will remain in Iraq after the transfer of sovereignty.
“We the Iraqis look forward to being granted full sovereignty through a Security Council resolution to enable us to rebuild a free, independent, democratic and federal unified homeland,” he said at a news conference, according to the New York Times.
Newly chosen Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari was reportedly on his way to New York Tuesday to lobby the United Nations for full sovereignty.