The United Nations envoy to Iraq says he is confident a caretaker Iraqi government can be formed and in place by June 30th to assume power from U.S. administrators.
Speaking today (Wednesday) in Baghdad, envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said a national assembly could then be convened as early as July to advise the caretaker government as it prepares for legislative elections. He called the legislative polls -- set for the end of January, 2005 -- a "most important milestone" for post-war Iraq.
But the U.N. envoy also warned that the security situation in Iraq must improve considerably for elections to take place on schedule.
Mr. Brahimi arrived in Baghdad early this month, and has been meeting with Iraqi and U.S. officials to plan for political transition and future elections. His visit coincides with the worst outbreak of insurgent violence in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Information for this report is provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.