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America begins process of regime change in Iraq

The United States plans to install the first leg of an interim government in Iraq as early as Tuesday.

india Updated: Apr 06, 2003 20:40 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The United States has said it would install the first leg of an interim government in Iraq as early as Tuesday even as American forces struggle to capture Baghdad, according to a report here on Sunday.

America's readiness to establish the first stages of a civil administration to run post-war Iraq comes at lightning speed and constitutes a rebuff to European ambitions to stall the process until some kind of role for the United Nations is agreed upon, The Observer said.

The decision to proceed with an embryonic government comes in response to memoranda written by Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld last week, urging that the US begin to entrench its authority in areas under its control before the war is over.

Describing the international body as being "irrelevant", Pentagon officials said that the administration is determined to impose the Rumsfeld plan and sees no use for a UN role.

Elements of an embryonic new government will be established in the southern port of Umm Qasr, taken by coalition forces during the first days of the war, according to US officials in Doha,

It will be installed by the Pentagon's Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance, under the former US army Lieutenant General Jay Garner, and will be answerable to the Pentagon.

"What we are going to start trying to do, even before the fighting is over in Iraq, is to move to the areas in Iraq that are relatively peaceful like Umm Qasr, and to start moving (the office of reconstruction) into Iraq," the official said.

First Published: Apr 06, 2003 12:12 IST