|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
October 20, 2004
From remarks by Iraqi Interim Prime Minister Allawi, 10/18/04
The Iraqi government is determined to make cities and neighborhoods free of weapons. Now, Iraqi forces are qualified to face violence and protect citizens, therefore there is no need for the presence of weapons in houses.
This week, there was a good start to disarmament in Al-Sadr City. The Iraqi Interim Government began the project after talks with civil society leaders, tribal chiefs, and representative of the people in the city, and thousands of weapons and explosives were collected.
Many weapons came from outside of Al-Sadr City. The people should surrender their weapons before the deadline so unlicensed weapons won't have to be seized and their owners punished in accordance with the law.
The program aims at dealing with the security situation. Since some could not hand over their weapons in time, the government has extended the deadline. The government wants to avoid punishing those who found it difficult to surrender their weapons.
The program will later extend to Basra and other Iraqi cities. The Iraqi Interim Government is determined to make cities and neighborhoods free of weapons to increase security.
The world wants Iraq to succeed and is aware of the size of the battle Iraq is waging against terrorists and killers.
Iraq is determined to achieve its aims and restore the status of the country as an important regional power.