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Bush -- 'Complete and Full Sovereignty' for New Iraq Government - 2004-05-29


President Bush has pledged that the U.S. - led coalition in Iraq will transfer "complete and full sovereignty" to an interim government at the end of June.

Speaking at the White House Friday, Mr. Bush said progress is being made at the United Nations Security Council on a resolution to recognize the June 30th transfer and to authorize a U.S. - led international security force in Iraq.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz said late Friday the Iraq's interim government will have a say in military operations through what he called a "security partnership" with the U.N. - authorized force that will be under U.S. command.

Speaking on American television ("The Newshour with Jim Lehrer"), Mr. Wolfowitz said the two sides will have to make common decisions to address security issues in Iraq.

Controversy erupted earlier in the week over suggestions that the interim Iraqi government would be able to veto U.S. military operations in the country. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Friday that American forces will remain under U.S. command and will do what is necessary to defend themselves.

Earlier Friday, Mr. Bush said he had spoken by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin and that the two leaders agreed to work together to help secure Iraq, so its people can hold elections and choose a government.

Russia opposed the Iraq war without U.N. authorization.

Mr. Bush spoke after talks with visiting Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

Denmark has about 500 troops in Iraq, and has been a staunch U.S. ally in the war. Mr. Rasmussen said Friday his country's forces will remain in Iraq as long as the interim government wants them to stay.

Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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