US President George W Bush has called for patience on the reconstruction of Iraq.
Donors are concerned about security
"The transition to self-government is a complicated process, because it takes time to build trust and hope after decades of oppression and fear," he said in his weekly radio address to the nation.
France has objected to a US-drafted UN Security Council resolution on Iraq because it stipulates a long period before handing power over to Iraqi control.
However, Mr Bush said: "We are making steady progress, and we will keep our promise to fully return Iraq's government to Iraq's people as soon as possible".
Mr Bush listed achievements in moves to pass responsibility for law and order to Iraqi hands.
He pointed out that 750 people had completed training to form the first battalion of a new Iraqi army.
And he said 80,000 other Iraqis were employed in national security.
"For three decades, the police in Iraq were the feared enforcers of a dictatorship. Now Iraq's new police are enforcing the just laws of an emerging democracy.
Mr Bush has come under fire this week after the Iraq Survey Group issued an interim report which failed to back the US administration's strongest claims about Iraq's alleged weapons of mass destruction.
And he has also been criticised for a burgeoning scandal in which White House aides are accused of blowing a CIA agent's cover as an act of vengeance against her husband - an outspoken critic of the war.