De Villepin urges faster Iraq handover

19th November 2003, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Nov 19 (AFP) - France welcomes the US decision to transfer power in Iraq to a transition government, but wants the handover process to be speeded up, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday.

PARIS, Nov 19 (AFP) - France welcomes the US decision to transfer power in Iraq to a transition government, but wants the handover process to be speeded up, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said Wednesday.

Summing up a meeting between European Union foreign ministers and US Secretary of State Colin Powell in Brussels Tuesday, the spokeswoman said the French minister, Dominique de Villepin, "welcomed the new American approach, which marks recognition of the principle of sovereignty and which envisages the transfer of responsibility to a future Iraqi transition government."

The spokeswoman, Cecile Pozzo di Borgo, said de Villepin had also insisted on the need to "put into place, within the framework of a faster timetable, a political process based on all Iraqi forces."

Earlier, in an interview with the French Catholic daily La Croix, de Villepin said the date of June 2004 suggested by the United States last weekend as the deadline for a handover was too late.

De Villepin last week called for an urgent change of US policy on Iraq, proposing the creation of a consultative assembly that could form a provisional government.

© AFP

Subject: French news



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