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L. Paul Bremer, III
Coalition Provisional Authority
Transition: Ministry of Transport
25 May 2004

Assayid al wazeer.
Sayidaati Saadati

In just 37 days every part of the Iraqi government will be in the hands of a sovereign Iraqi government.

But today, the Ministry of Transportation is officially in your hands, Mr. Minister. And this transition of authority marks another milestone on Iraq’s road to democracy. Another major step will be the establishment of the interim government in the coming week. That government will receive full sovereignty on June 30 when the occupation ends. And then, not later than January, Iraqis will participate in the country’s first full free democratic elections. The anti-democratic forces from within and without Iraq will continue their efforts to force Iraq off this path.

They will not succeed!

As President Bush said last night in his address to the nation, “Terrorists will not determine the future of Iraq.”

Mr. Minister, you and your staff, working closely with Captain Manson Brown and his predecessors, have accomplished remarkable things here at the ministry:

• Many of the wrecked ships have been cleared from the Umm Qasr port and the key channels have been dredged.
• Regularly scheduled ferry services now operate between Dubai and Iraq.
• Iraqi air controllers are on the verge of taking full responsibility from the Australians and Britons who currently run the towers in Baghdad and Basrah airports.
• Rail services bring grain from Syria and other important commodities from Turkey. In addition, you have refurbished a substantial amount of the railroad’s rolling stock.

And I know, Mr. Minister, from our conversation just a short while ago that you have wonderful plans for expanding the railroad to better serve the people of Iraq in the years ahead.

Mr. Minister, you and your staff have done an excellent job prioritizing the ministry’s objectives for the future. You have recognized the value of expanding Umm Qasr’s throughput capacity while increasing rail efficiency. And the ministry has emphasized the need to improve the intermodal connections so that materiel can move seamlessly from ship to rail to truck and from there to every point in Iraq.

I congratulate you and your team, Mr. Minister, for all you have done to link all the people who live in the Land between the Two Rivers with each other and with the rest of the world.

Congratulations, Mr. Minister.

Mabruk al Iraq al Jadeed.
Aash al-Iraq!


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