|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
January 9, 2004
From remarks by Secretary Powell, Washington, DC, 1/8/04
America enters 2004 with the understanding that while there has been progress in the global war against terror and greater cooperation between the nations of the world, the challenge ahead is difficult and long.
While we see terrorists being brought to justice, we know there is still an enemy out there that would do us damage.
In Afghanistan, we have seen a successful constitutional loya jirga, which put in place a constitution for the Afghan people. But, we are mindful of the dangers that still lurk there with respect to old Taliban elements.
In Iraq, we are working very closely with the Governing Council and have a good plan that will result in the creation of a transitional executive branch, as well as a transitional assembly -- hopefully -- by the middle of the year.
The State Department, at the President's direction, will be building up our capacity in Baghdad so we can have a smooth transition from the Coalition Provisional Authority, with sovereignty returned to the Iraqi people.
We have seen Libya decide that it would discontinue development of weapons of mass destruction. We are following up to ensure that we get verified removal of those weapons and programs. Then we will discuss with the Libyans what the nature of our relationship will be in the future.
We have seen interesting developments with respect to Iran signing the additional protocol of the Nonproliferation Treaty. World leaders are working together to convince Iran that this is the time to eliminate these kinds of programs and make sure that there is no possibility of a weapons program there.