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Iraq Council Head (Chalabi) Shifts to Position at Odds with U.S. [View All]

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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 10:49 PM
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Iraq Council Head (Chalabi) Shifts to Position at Odds with U.S.
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BAGHDAD, Iraq, Sept. 22 Ahmad Chalabi, the president of Iraq's interim government, is in New York this week to press alternatives to the Bush administration's occupation policy in postwar Iraq, he and his aides say. In the process, he may complete a personal transformation from protg of Pentagon conservatives to Iraqi nationalist with a loud, independent voice.

In an interview today in New York, Mr. Chalabi professed gratitude to the Bush administration for toppling Saddam Hussein's government, but his specific proposals were directly at odds with the policies Washington is pursuing in Baghdad and at the United Nations. He demanded that the Iraqi Governing Council be given at least partial control of the powerful finance and security ministries, and rejected the idea of more foreign troops coming to Iraq.

Mr. Chalabi's strategy, he says, is to get from the United Nations General Assembly sovereign status for the unelected 25-member Governing Council. This move to lobby other nations for a swift transfer of some sovereignty is going down poorly in Washington, according to the Iraqi leader's aides.

Mr. Chalabi has sent representatives to France and Germany to discuss putting Iraqis back in charge under a new United Nations mandate that would end American control of the occupation, even if American troops remain in Iraq. His aides say he also plans to tell the Senate that the United Nations could save billions of dollars on Iraq's reconstruction by allowing an Iraqi administration to handle it.

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http://nytimes.com/2003/09/23/international/middleeast/...
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