Bush orders speedier handover

13 November 2003
US President Bush on 12 November asked the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer to implement changes to speed up the handover of authority to Iraqis. The request was made during a hastily arranged meeting, for which Bremer cancelled a meeting with Poland's premier in Baghdad and flew back to Washington. '[Bush] remains steadfast in his determination to defeat terrorism in Iraq and steadfast in his determination to give the Iraqis authority over their country - authority they are already beginning to assume very quickly in the area of security and in the area of running the Iraqi ministries,' Bremer told a news conference after his meeting with Bush and senior White House officials. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Vice-President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice all attended the meeting (MEED 12:11:03).

Bremer has been urging the Iraqi Interim Governing Council (IGC) to meet the 15 December deadline for outlining a timetable for the drafting of a constitution. The IGC has been criticised for its slow responses to CPA demands, but remains optimistic that it can influence the course of events and even increase its own powers. 'Bremer can push us and we can push him to give us more powers so that we can perform our job better,' said IGC member Mouwafak al-Rabii.

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