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Last Updated: Thursday, 23 September, 2004, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Excerpts: Allawi Congress speech
Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi has made a speech to a joint session of the US Congress. He said Iraq was succeeding in building freedom and democracy, and vowed to defeat terrorism and hold elections. The following are quotes from the speech:


We are succeeding in Iraq. It's a tough struggle with setbacks, but we are succeeding...

Today we are better off, you are better off, and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein
I have seen some of the images that are being shown here on television. They are disturbing... They focus on the tragedies, such as the brutal and barbaric murder of two American hostages this week... Yet, as we mourn these losses, we must not forget either the progress we are making or what is our stake in Iraq. We are fighting for freedom and democracy - ours and yours...

We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom. I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain...

Today we are better off, you are better off, and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein. Your decision to go to war in Iraq was not an easy one, but it was the right one. There are no words that can express the debt of gratitude that future generations of Iraqis will owe to Americans...

Our hearts go to the families - every American who has given his or her life in the cause and every American who has been wounded to help us in our struggle. Now we are determined to honour your confidence and sacrifice by putting into practice in Iraq the values of liberty and democracy which are so dear to you, and which have triumphed over tyranny across our world...

The struggle in Iraq today is not about the future of Iraq only, it's about the worldwide war between those who want to live in peace and freedom, and terrorists... who strike indiscriminately...

Elections on schedule

We are working hard to involve as many people as we can in the political process to cut the ground from under the terrorists' feet. In troubled areas across the country, government representatives are meeting with local leaders. They are offering amnesty to those who realise the error of their ways. They are making clear that there can be no compromise with terror, that all Iraqis have the opportunity to join ... the side of order and democracy...

The courage and resilience of the Iraqi people has proved the doubters wrong - and I pledge to you today we will prove them wrong again over the elections
Elections will occur in Iraq, on time in January, because Iraqis want elections on time...

At every step of the political process to date, the courage and resilience of the Iraqi people has proved the doubters wrong... And I pledge to you today we will prove them wrong again over the elections...

[The elections] will be free and fair. And though they won't be the end of the journey toward democracy, they will be a giant step forward in Iraq's political evolution...

The resolve and will of the coalition in supporting a free Iraq is vital to our success. The Iraqi government needs the help of ... countries that not only believe in the Iraqi people but also believe in the fight for freedom and against tyranny and terrorism everywhere...

Destiny

Our opponents, the terrorists, also understand all too well that this is an international effort, and that's why they have targeted members of the coalition. I know the pain this causes. I know it is difficult, but the coalition must stand firm...

We Iraqis will stand by you, America, in a war larger than either of our nations, the global battle to live in freedom
Iraq is still a nation with an inspiring culture and a tradition, and an educated and civilized people. And Iraq is still a land made strong by its Islamic faith, which teaches us tolerance, love, respect and duty...

There are those who want to divide our world. I appeal to you, who have done so much already to help us... Do not allow them to say to Iraqis, to Arabs, to Muslims, that we have only two models of government - brutal dictatorship and religious extremism. This is wrong...

For the first time in our history, the Iraqi people can look forward to controlling our own destiny. This would not have been possible without the help and sacrifices of this country and its coalition partners...

Neither tyranny nor terrorism has a place in our region or our world. And that is why we Iraqis will stand by you, America, in a war larger than either of our nations, the global battle to live in freedom...




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