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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 28, 2004
Texts of Letters on Iraq Sovereignty as Read by Scott McClellan
Hilton International Hotel Istanbul
6:10 P.M. (Local)
MR. McCLELLAN: I have a copy of the note that was exchanged between Dr. Rice and the President at the NATO meeting earlier today. We are doing a photo release of the original. But let me read it into the transcript:
Condi wrote: "Mr. President,
"Iraq is sovereign. Letter was passed from Bremer at 10:26 a.m. Iraq time -
And then the President wrote back on the note in a black sharpie, "Let Freedom Reign!"
This letter was given to the judge in the presence of Prime Minister Allawi and President Ghazi al-Yawer at approximately 10:35 a.m. Baghdad time:
"Judge Medhat al Mahmood
"Court of Cassation
"Dear Judge Mahmood:
"As recognized in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546 (2004), the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist on June 28, at which point the occupation will end, and the Iraqi Interim Government will assume and exercise full sovereign authority on behalf of the Iraqi people. We welcome Iraq's steps to take its rightful place of equality and honor among the nations of the world."
"L. Paul Bremer III
We only the text of this letter, not the original. So we will release this in this transcript.
This letter is from the President to Prime Minister Allawi proposing the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Iraq. We will make a copy of the original available to everyone at the file. But let me read it into the transcript:
"June 27, 2004
"Prime Minister of the Republic of Iraq
"Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
"Congratulations on your recent appointment and to the Iraqi people on the great strides that have been made in the past year toward freedom and democracy in Iraq. The United States is a committed partner in this endeavor, and it is my honor to propose the establishment of diplomatic relations between the United States and Iraq with permanent missions, effective immediately upon the assumption of sovereign authority by the Iraqi Interim Government.
"The United States reiterates its commitment to support your government as it leads Iraq toward national elections. I look forward to your response confirming the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries and to pursuing our shared vision for Iraq's journey to freedom.
"George W. Bush"
Let me read you the text of the letter in response from Prime Minister Allawi. Again, we do not have the original.
"Dear President Bush
"I have received your letter of June 27, 2004 and have the honor of confirming the establishment of diplomatic relations with full diplomatic mission between Iraq and the United States.
END 6:13 P.M. (Local)