The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
August 22, 2005

Statement on Iraqi Leaders Submitting Draft Constitution to National Assembly
Statement by the Deputy Press Secretary

Today, Iraqi leaders submitted a draft constitution to Iraq's National Assembly, thereby meeting the requirements of the Transitional Administrative Law. The leadership of the National Assembly has announced it will deliberate for an additional three days before voting to approve a final draft constitution. The Iraqis will use this three-day period to consolidate consensus with all groups and finalize agreement on the few outstanding issues.

We welcome today's development as another step forward in Iraq's constitutional process. The progress made over the past week has been impressive, with consensus reached on most provisions through debate, dialogue, and compromise. This is the essence of democracy, which is difficult and often slow, but leads to durable agreements, brokered by representatives that reflect the interests and values of free people. The American people commend the spirit of cooperation that has marked these deliberations, and look forward to seeing the constitutional draft finalized on Thursday. The United States pledges its full support as the Iraqis work to complete their democratic transition.

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