Iraqis to Hold National Congress within Four Weeks

Iraqi Reconstruction Meeting in Baghdad
Prominent Iraqis on Monday agreed to hold a national congress within four weeks to choose an interim government following the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

"All efforts should be made to hold a national conference within four select a transitional Iraqi government," a statement released after a nearly 10-hour meeting said.

The meeting was held here Monday by retired US general Jay Garner with prominent Iraqis to discuss the political future of postwar Iraq.

Among the representatives were officials from the US-backed Iraqi National Congress and the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.

But some of the major factional leaders, including Kurdistan Democratic Party leader Massoud Barzani, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan chief Jalal Talabani and Iraqi National Congress leader Ahmed Chalabi, didn't participate in the meeting.

The meeting is the second for an "emerging leadership" of Iraq. The first was held earlier this month in the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq.

Another resolution after the meeting stressed that the US-led coalition had a responsibility "in maintaining security" in Iraq.

The goal of the "all-faction" meeting was to discuss "a democratic government which represents all people, all religions, all tribes," Garner said at the opening.

People's Daily Online ---