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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 June, 2004, 15:32 GMT 16:32 UK
What does future hold for the new Iraq?
From left, Iraqi President Ghazi Al-Yawer, Vice President of Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, and Prime Minister Iyad Allawi
The new Iraqi government has had its first full day in office since the American-led coalition handed over power on Monday.

At a news conference the Iraqi Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi, announced that Saddam Hussein will be passed to Iraqi legal custody on Wednesday along with 11 other 'high valued detainees'.

He has said his first priority is to ensure the safety of his people. But violence has continued in Baghdad and Iraqi militants say they have killed an American soldier who was kidnapped in April.

You put your questions to Iraq expert Adel Darwish, in an interactive forum

The Prime Minister's announcement came as the interior minister warned that the new government would not hesitate to introduce emergency security measures, if they were needed.

What does the future hold for the new interim government? What difference will it make? Was it a good idea to bring the handover forward? Can it bring stability to the country?

We discussed the handover on Talking Point. Our guests were Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN's special envoy to Iraq and Dr Hussain al-Shahristani, who was an early favourite to become head of the new interim government.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

The new Iraqi government is an important step
Tommy McFarland, Kansas City, USA
Getting the US out of Iraq has been my main desire since we arrived in-country. Whether it's considered legitimate or a sham, the new Iraqi government is an important step to getting my friends and neighbours (US soldiers) back home. The government's first task, obviously, is security, but its second task will be equally important in the long run. This second task is to set up free and democratic elections so that the government will be "by the people, for the people," and not at the pleasure of my country.
Tommy McFarland, Kansas City, USA

The future for Iraq is grim. It will be one big base for US troops and an oil platform for Halliburton. Iraqis (lucky ones) will serve their new masters by cooking their food and washing their clothes, the rest will join the resistance and continue fighting for their freedom from occupation. In any case the explosions and deaths will go on for many years to come.
IF, Russia

The new interim government will be popular only if it gradually distances itself from the occupying forces. And if it doesn't, it will, in near future, beg for more troops just like Karzai is doing now.
Tariq, New Delhi, India

I think the speed with which Paul Bremer fled the country indicates the true state of affairs in Iraq. We'll have to wait and see how long this 'Shah' lasts.
Michael, Brisbane, Australia

It will be very interesting to see what kind of democracy Allawi has in store for the Iraqis. Will he allow freedom of speech and freedom of the press or will he stamp out any form of criticism just like Saddam did, labelling anyone who disagrees with him a terrorist?
Kal, Providence, USA

Let us hope for the best - a free, democratic federal Iraq
Hiwa Afandi, Erbil

Whether this handover of power will bring Iraqis a dark or bright future is dependent on many factors but the most important factor is respecting the democratic values in Iraq by the new authority. A civil war is not far away if some population groups are treated as second class citizens. Let us hope for the best - a free, democratic federal Iraq.
Hiwa Afandi, Erbil

USA proved that it is not after imperialism. Best wishes to Iraqi people. Now it is up to the rest of Arab world to support Iraq. And let's see where big-talking France and Germany now stand - with Iraqi people or against!
L Arumugam, Sri Lanka

Having lived in the Middle East, knowing the culture and language, I know that the only transfer of power that will appease the region is that to the Palestinians. Anything less falls short.
Andre, Geneva, Switzerland

It makes no difference since the American troops are there.
Abdullah Mahrooki, Muscat, Oman

Regardless of the scepticism on this page, I am optimistic that Iraq will now settle down and find its own way to deal with those who wish to sow division and hatred. There is no room for terrorism in Iraq, whether religious or otherwise.
Tahir Mahmood, Bradford, UK

Our thoughts go with the many thousands who have died in Iraq over the last year regardless of race. Let's hope that their deaths have not been in vain.
David, Penang, Malaysia

I think the handover of sovereignty will be doomed to failure if it is not parallel to other minorities
Hoshyar, Kurdistan

As a Kurd, and having never felt Iraqi I think the handover of sovereignty will be doomed to failure if it is not parallel to other minorities so they can live in peace and have freedom in a real democratic Iraq.
Hoshyar, Kurdistan

Freedom triumphs!
Ananda Gopald, Dubai, UAE

The whole handover is just a joke. The ultimate power will stay with the Americans with the exception that Iraqis will now have to do the dirty work for them (security). What kind of government is it if its handover ceremony takes place in the dark and behind closed doors? If they can't protect themselves how can they protect the Iraqi people A comprehensive description on what is on the offering is needed.
Arif, Lahore, Pakistan

The mess created by US and UK should be cleared as early as possible. They should not eschew their responsibilities for the sake of so called sovereignty of Iraq as that will be another mess, Anyway, Mr Bush and Mr Blair will be paid back with the same coin by their respective electorate in the next election.
Binoy, Dubai, UAE

How emblematic! Like thieves in the night. The performance of handover takes place in private, behind curtains of security and beyond the view of the Iraqi people. A disgraceful sham. Sadly it will change very little on the ground other than now it will be a puppet government that will be the face of the repression and pacification.
Robert, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

What is bound to happen is that innocent people will also be imprisoned
Mike, Croydon

Iraq, a large, oil rich nation of clever, intelligent people will eventually pull away from the Saddam era. All that needs attention is an end of violence by fringe groups. Now that Iraqis are in charge, they will undoubtedly use their home grown brand of catching suspected terrorists. What is bound to happen is that innocent people will also be imprisoned. Iraq needs to note that the world is watching and no return to past ways will be tolerated.
Mike, Croydon

Only time will tell. With the continued support of the United States and the world, Iraq has the ability to become a great nation and role model to its neighbours. I certainly understand the reservations that many Middle Easterners harbour but rest assured this will not be another France-Algeria fiasco. That is not the American way.
Kevin, Texas, USA

The future is bleak as there is no sign of a light at the end of the tunnel. Let everything in the name of coalition disappear for a sense of jingoism to be created hence a grip of a sense of direction.
Okungu Majiwah, Nairobi

How can the US claim that the Iraqis are now in control of their country when they won't even hand back Saddam's old palace. The US have demanded that they retain it to be used as their embassy - isn't it Iraqi property? Suggests to me that the US intend to entrench themselves in Iraq for a long time.
Ian, Durham, UK

The handover is actually more of a hangover
Farnham, Blue Hill

Presently, the handover is actually more of a hangover. Until the new Iraqi government asserts its authority over the coalition troops, the Iraqi people are not likely to believe in it - or in the future of Iraq as a sovereign nation.
Farnham, Blue Hill, USA

Iraq should become an Islamic republic which follows Shiism as the base for politics. The country is mostly Shiites so that is who should be in power.
Ali Bin-Husseyn, Isfahan, Iran

Kudos to the Iraqis. Now the blood and sweat of the coalition will bear fruit in a free Iraq and safer world.
Bob, Idaho, USA

Many people claim that if US troops were to withdraw there would be civil war. Why no one debates other possibilities I can't understand. If the US troops were to operate under UN control I believe that more countries would be willing to cooperate. But that would mean that the US would not be able to act carte blanche and that is something Bush is not ready to do. Well until the US achieves to convince the world and mainly the Iraqis that the invasion of Iraq did not serve self-interests the future of Iraq seems dark.
Lola Peristeriadou, Athens, Greece

How interesting that the armchair critics know better than the Iraqis! How is it that the new Iraqi government's request for US assistance is seen as American imperialism? Is it a refusal to see it for what it really is: A first step toward true Iraqi freedom? Of course, achieving Iraqi freedom is not as important as proving the Americans wrong, I guess.
Andrea, New York, USA

The future looks very good to me but the Saudis I work with don't believe the Americans and the British will ever pull out. They believe that both countries are going to stay in charge "behind the scenes" because both really want Iraq's oil.
Edward C. Loomis, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

America has not created a solid foundation on which to build a democratic Iraq
Vajid Ali, Birmingham, UK
Iraq is just in the eye of the storm! America has not created a solid foundation on which to build a democratic Iraq. Instead the Bush administration has tailored Iraqi policy for short term political gain on the domestic front, especially since elections are around the corner. This is the calm before the storm and Iraq is in a pre-revolutionary state and this quagmire is gonna get very messy!
Vajid Ali, Birmingham, UK

The long term future of Iraq is completely in the hands of the Iraqis. It is they who ultimately will shape their nation. If the people want a western style nation, an Islamic nation or a nation drawn from their own traditions; it is up to them. It is also up to them if they want outside involvement and for them now to make their own mistakes. There are plenty of different types of governments around the world for them to look at and draw a model from.
G.P. Russell, Peterborough, England

Iraq has never been a stable country for the best part of a century. It has many divisions and rival chiefs fighting each other. That needs to be sorted out quickly.
Hyder Ali Pirwany, Okehampton, Devon, England

Iraq should be encouraged to become the first Arab liberal democracy, to serve as a model for the other Arab states.
Ernesto, Jerusalem, Israel

Apart from more chaos in this oil-rich country, I do not envisage any element of stability being experienced in the near future. This should be a lesson to the US and the UK who created this mess in Iraq, never to repeat similar mistakes elsewhere in the world.
Nyende Farouk, Kampala, Uganda

America still has ultimate control. All that has changed is that Mr Bush has Mr Allawi to blame for the things that are hurting his presidential election campaign and pulling his ratings down.
Nigel Darwent, Trinidad and Tobago

The new government also should allow back a "de-Saddamized" New Ba'ath Party
Ernst Sommer, Zurich, Switzerland
It all depends on how much the new government can make a distance between itself and the Americans, and how independently of the Americans it can and will act. -- The new government also should allow back a "de-Saddamized" New Ba'ath Party which will then be a powerful counterweight to fundamentalist forces.
Ernst Sommer, Zurich, Switzerland

Anyone who believes that Iraq is a sovereign nation, even though only effective military force operating inside it is foreign, would have to concede, in retrospect, that East Germany, Hungary, Poland, etc. were free before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Both conclusions would be equally absurd
Robert P. Ewing, Philadelphia,PA USA

This is a historic day. There are surely tough days still ahead, but history will prove this entire Iraqi war just or a mistake. If in 10, or even 20 years, there is a thriving democracy in the middle of the middle east then WMDs or no, Saddam-Al Qaeda connection or no, this war and Bush's decision was just.
F. Edward Lopez, New York, NY

It will not add to any stability in Iraq, something that is virtually impossible as long as US troops remain there
Kenny, New York, USA
The only reason for moving the transfer forward so mysteriously was to draw attention away from Michael Moore's anti-administration film, Fahrenheit 9/11. Since the transfer was a self-serving decision characteristic of many others the administration has made, it will not add to any stability in Iraq, something that is virtually impossible as long as US troops remain there.
Kenny, New York, USA

I don't believe for a minute this is a real "transfer of power" All aspects will continue to be run by the US, and the US will continue the occupation as long as there is oil in the area, because that's why the US is there in the first place. And I don't understand why the US media continue to label those who dare to fight to defend their own land "terrorists". Think about it. If another country invaded and occupied your country for no good reason, would you not fight back? Of course you would. Anything to get the occupiers out of your country. This is a war that never should have been launched in the first place, launched on lies, greed and lust for oil profits at the expense of the Iraqi people.
Mike, Newton, KS USA

Sovereignty? Come on, can you say that with a straight face?
Gianni Pavone, Los Angeles, California

History will vindicate President Bush and Tony Blair
Sijil Oommen, Naperville, USA
It would taken the same guts and sacrifice to undo what was undone for so long. History will vindicate President Bush and Tony Blair. Wishing Iraq a happy Birthday.
Sijil Oommen, Naperville, USA

It is truly amazing how many ignorant people will comment on something they obviously have not researched. I for one will not be self righteous enough to impose views on such a momentous day on Iraqi history shame on all of you.
Rick, Deenver, USA

For those of you who question the coalition's motives, I ask, what has the coalition gained from their actions? The USA has sacrificed nearly 1,000 soldiers, and 100 billion dollars for this effort, not to mention the ire of much of the world. What have they gained? Some of you may say oil, but the oil is still in Iraq. Bush's motives are clearly freedom and democracy in the Middle East.
Mark, Sioux City, USA

Whatever your thoughts on the whole Iraq situation (and my own are almost entirely negative), moving the handover down two days was an inspired choice, thus removing extreme violence from the proceedings themselves. Not that this will actually stop the violence, though... and how long before America really hands over power?
Chris, USA

Let every nation support the Iraqi people
Barbara Pellack, Ohio, USA
Okay our leadership created this mess, no argument there, but it is in the world's best interest for Iraq to succeed. Let's get UN troops in there, the US out and let every nation support the Iraqi people while they build their country.
Barbara Pellack, Ohio, USA

I am pleased to hear about the handover, but it does not mitigate my distress over the entire Iraq fiasco. My country's current leader has steered us on a course that has alienated us from the rest of the world while causing incredible harm to many innocent Iraqi civilians and American soldiers. I pray that, despite the many hardships and terrible leadership the Iraqi people have undergone in the last decade, they will find the clarity of purpose to forge a peaceful and profitable union.
Anne Angell, Chicago, USA

Although in itself it may not seem like much has changed, it's the first step towards a democratically elected government. After all this has always been the goal and if it succeeds then all criticism of the handling by the coalition will be void.
Andrew C, Hitchin, England

A free Iraq is born
Jeff, Cincinnati, USA
June 28th, 2004.....mark this day, Iraq....and congratulations! A free Iraq is born. The road has been and will be tough, but keep your eye on the ball.
Jeff, Cincinnati, USA

Great idea to bump up the transfer of power two days early! Now the Iraqis can begin to govern themselves and head towards elections. What will the nay-sayers whine about once the Iraqis have directly elected their own government?
Miguel Gonzalez, California, USA

Oh please! The USA is still very much in control. 130,000+ of our young men and women are still there. My government is building 14 permanent bases, Halliburton controls the oil. And the handover ceremony was in secret? Smacks of an on-going occupation to me.
Betsy, Lawrence, Madison, Wisconsin, USA

The first real test of sovereignty will come when a disagreement arises over a given military operation. If the US chooses to act against the Iraqi government's wishes we will know that the whole thing has been a fiasco.
Enrique, Gudalajara, Mexico

find it ironic that all negative comments are coming from outsiders (France, Canada, Asia etc.) and optimism and joy are coming from the Iraqis on this joyous occasion. Stop crying over spilled milk, get over your self righteousness and support this great country in the making. Long live Iraq, the majority of this world wishes you all the best.
Fred, Fort Lauderdale, USA

Today is a day I awaited since I was born
Mohammed, Najaf

Today is a day I awaited since I was born. Today will draw a dividing line between the terrorists and freedom fighters. Iraq is sovereign so there is no room for fighting and terrorism. The world is united today to say come on Iraq and no to terrorism.
Mohammed, Najaf

That the handover had to be conducted in secret and brought forward by two days just about says it all! According to the Bushies' pre-war propaganda, the handover should have been marked by colourful celebrations at which the US would have been hailed as the liberator of Iraq from tyranny. Now, hundreds of brave young Americans have died in a war for which their country will earn little more than opprobrium from Iraqis - apart from the handpicked ex-CIA agents such as Allawi.
Ogonna Obi, Enugu, Nigeria

Chaos and civil war are however more likely than stability
Peter Kirsch, Cape Town

The early handover was an attempt to pre-empt further mayhem by insurgents and will have no affect whatever as long as US troops are in Iraq. The interim government has virtually no real power (Bremer issued a series of ukases which preclude the full exercise of governmental authority). The only thing that might bring stability is the removal of foreign troops and the division of Iraq into a tri-partite state - Kurd, Sunni and Shia. Chaos and civil war are however more likely than stability.
Peter Kirsch, Cape Town, South Africa

Americans are the one playing the drum and dancing to it. Which sovereignty? So is it now allowed for a recognised nation to be taken over by another? Certainly, the whole world is guilty if America is not brought to book.
Qamar Lawal, Lagos, Nigeria

A historic day. This proves the United States is not an imperialistic power out to grab territory, oil, or to impose it's will on other people.
Edwin Bowers, Junction City, KS, USA

I'd like to see less negativity from the BBC towards the situation in Iraq. The coverage until now has looked really biased. Best wishes to the Iraqi people.
Oliver Brennan, London

This childish sniping from Europeans is so transparent. They obviously do not give a fig leaf for the Iraqi people. They are only concerned that they are losing a good excuse for their anti-American and anti-Bush carping and whining.
Cole, USA

I am puzzled to know why other Arab (Islamic) countries do not offer to help Iraq get back on its feet. Why are they not offering to send troops to help with security? I can not imagine the militants would be very keen to kill fellow Muslims?
Margot Parker, UK

The early handover is best since it was requested by the new Prime Minister. It is only respectful to fulfil that.
Michelle Tetreau, Minneapolis, US

Now is the time for the Arab countries to come to Iraq's aid and help it get back to its feet. The Arabic nations should contribute a peace-keeping force to restore order while the Coalition forces stay out of the urban areas. Good luck and may Allah bless Iraq.
Eddie Leong, Singapore

If they continue, we know they are simply anti-freedom
Melanie, Germantown

It happened. I'm glad it did and glad that it was two days early. Now we will see how the terrorists respond. If they cease, we know they were anti-coalition. If they continue, we know they are simply anti-freedom.
Melanie, Germantown, MD, USA

My heartfelt congratulations to the Iraqi people. May God keep you and watch over you as you tighten your control on your own country. The American people are behind you all the way!
Paul Christopher, Temple Hills, MD, USA

Early and in the right hands.... Good luck Iraq! You are in control to write your own future.
Rich, Wilmington, DE, USA

The Coalition was ready, the Interim Iraqi government was ready, the lawless terrorists and insurgents were not. The lime light was taken from Zarqawi, and his propaganda machine Al-Jazeera , and that's great! I hope peace for the Iraqi people.
Samuel D Blackstock, Bangkok, Thailand

It's great news, really, and a sensible move on the part of the coalition, too. One may hope this will sap the resolve of the guerrillas as the decision means in fact fulfilling (some of) their demands.
Tomasz Stramel, Lodz, Poland

A smart move! The Europeans keep calling President Bush dumb but he is a visionary. He'll bring democracy to the Middle East.
Peter, La Marque, Texas

It is disgraceful and disrespectful to the British people that the British Prime Minister was not informed about the change of the transfer date. It is time Blair stopped insulting the British people by accepting every thing done by the Bush Administration.
Femi Eletu, London, UK

One thing is good in Iraq today. There is no Saddam Hussein's fear and brutal killing by his thugs. But, there's still a long way to go to became a stable and peaceful country and it is understandable. I hope the people of Iraq peace and prosperity.
Bile Sharmarke, Oslo, Norway (Somali)

So here is the new dilemma. Does Allawi request the coalition troops leave in an attempt to legitimize the government to Iraqis and, through lack of security, risk even more chaos and mayhem in the country? Or does he keep the occupiers in place for security reasons and risk even more chaos and mayhem in the country? The Bush administration's black and white/right and wrong view of the world continues to arrogantly disregard the total mess it has created.
Bill, Houston, Texas

The different perspectives on the same event is so interesting. I interpreted Paul Bremer's departure not as cowardice but symbolic and necessary to show that Iraq had regained its sovereignty.
Caroline, USA

It's a facade. Anyone who thinks this is an Iraqi administration hasn't been paying attention.
David McKinlay, Melbourne, Australia

Hope Iraq will prevail under the forces that are determined to destroy it. Come on Iraq, the majority by far want you to succeed and have a bright future.
Angelo, Napoli

I laugh in all people's faces who thought this would not happen or be delayed
Adam Mirani, Erbil

I'd like to congratulate all of my fellow Iraqis today. And I'd also like to add that I laugh in all people's faces who thought this would not happen or be delayed. Ha! Two days earlier is wonderful, plus it makes all the terrorists that were planning bombs on the 30th to rethink about it. I'm very glad this has happened, it seems everything is starting to work out.
Adam Mirani, Erbil, Iraq

Its time that we stop judging the past and look to the future. The big picture is a ruthless dictator is out and a free Iraq is in. So what's the problem? Its easy to criticize the US and Britain for their involvement, but ultimately they have given a country hope for the future... something they haven't had for a very long time.
Erik, Iceland

I think that the Americans have been planning for this for a while. The recent events taking place in Iraq validate the decision, with them hoping that things will quiet down. Hopefully!
Faisal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Sneaking in a secret early handover is not exactly confidence inspiring.
Kendall Ingram, Melbourne, Australia

Rather late in the day, huh? Let the US and so-called coalition forces get out and let the Iraqis begin the difficult task of self-construction, with some help from the UN. Meanwhile, Bush is facing a hard time at home and the burden of Iraq off his back may ease his election campaign.
Ether Mwangi, Nairobi, Kenya

It is a historic day and successful for democracy. It is time for freedom and the end of the 35 years of dictatorship.
Kadir Samad, Folkestone, UK

The hard part is just beginning
Christopher Magee, USA

A small bit of brilliance. Attacks that were planned for June 30th have been pre-empted without a single shot fired, a single life lost. It shows that maybe, just maybe, the Coalition wants to give the Iraqis their country back. Even with all that's been said and done, the hard part is just beginning.
Christopher Magee, Washington DC, USA

They went in as heroes and liberators. Now they leave as cowards from the backdoor. Bremer left as soon as he handed the documents. But what about the thousands of ordinary American sons and daughters left behind? Aren't their lives as precious as Bremer's?
Herb, Canada

What is needed now is for all the Arab countries to rally round the new government and declare their support for it. That would make the perceived legitimacy of the insurgents null and void. Furthermore, the Iraqi government should ask for the replacement of Coalition troops with UN troops - recall history and what happened in the Suez area in 1956/57.
Len Pannett, Guildford

The new government has to prove that it is not a puppet government like many governments in the Middle East. If they prove better security and economic conditions for normal poor Iraqis, then we can say there is a real handover and we can call it an independence day.
Mahmoud Lasheen, Cairo, Egypt.

The fact that Blair seemed surprised says it all. One shoulder stands a lot higher than the other!
Taz, UK

All those mealy-mouthed, anti-American, anti-Western cynics will have their snipes as to why they think this has happened but they cannot change the fact that the next step towards a truly free Iraq has now happened. Power will now grow in the hands of the free Iraqis and with our help they will steadily eliminate the insane anti-freedom fanatics that continue to blight their country.
Pete, Birmingham, UK

I did not agree with the war, but now it's time for Nato to train those troops and get Iraq back on its feet
Ernest, Denmark

It was a very good idea to make a sudden change in date and make the event low key. This has wrong footed anyone who had plans of disrupting the event or marring it with carnage. I did not agree with the war, but now it's time for Nato to train those troops and get Iraq back on its feet.
Ernest, Denmark

What a mess Iraq is in. I do hope that the US and UK will not eschew their responsibility and run away from the mess they caused.
Arnoud, Paris

From, a military point of view, bringing forward the handover of power to the Iraqis, was a good idea as it pre-empted the militant's attacks. The interim government can have as much power as the Iraq's petrol dollar can bargain. After the handover, Iraqis are going to settle down and rebuild their country, and eventually there will be stability in Iraq.
Mr. Boaz Isuba Papa, Nairobi, Kenya

As an ex-serviceman I am only too aware of the complex tribal and religious considerations that must be understood before intervening in the affairs of a country such as Iraq. It is unlikely in my opinion that this chaotic and barbaric situation will improve over the short term. It will be many, many years before stability returns and a strong leader takes control. The imposition of democracy is frankly idiotic.
Tom Brown, Whittlesey

US talk of liberation, freedom and democracy is just self glorification.
Greyl, Paris, France

From BBCArabic.com: The transfer of power to Iraqis is a proof of the good intentions of the coalition and their commitment to towards achieving their promises for an independent Iraq. Unfortunately this aspect was not touched or mentioned by the Arab media. I am surprised that the terror attacks have increased now that Iraqis are celebrating the handover of power.
Abdel Aziz Ahmed, Saudi Arabia

From BBCArabic.com: I consider this as a step forward towards security for Iraq. Long live free a democratic and transparent Iraq. Let's unite to establish freedom, unity and prosperity in our Iraq.
Riyad Hashim, Iraqi living in Canada

From BBCArabic.com: I think that the transfer of power to Iraqis, hopefully, will increase security in the country. However, I think that there might be some problems associated with it: Some terrorists might be able to enter Iraq illegally through the borders, and they are planning to terrorise Iraqis. This might hinder any progress the government tries to achieve.
Haydar, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: I believe that there are huge challenges that the Iraqi government will face in the future, such as tackling the problem of unemployment. I believe that this kind of problem is even more dangerous and challenging. If Iyad Allawi is not capable of offering the unemployed jobs, I believe that he and his government would be in so much trouble.
Hussam Munaf, Baghdad, Iraq

I am confident that Iraqis will turn there situation around will create a peaceful and transparent country
Gahsan Ibrahim, Syria

From BBCArabic.com: Congratulations to all Iraqis who suffered so much, in the last thirty years. There is no doubt that the security issue is one of the most important issues and should be a priority for the government of Iraq at the moment. I believe that the forces of good will prevail over Al Zarqawi and his followers who terrorised civilians and beheaded innocent people. I am confident that Iraqis will turn there situation around will create a peaceful and transparent country. I call upon all the Arab world and all the world to support Iraq for creating a better future for all Iraqis and the world.
Gahsan Ibrahim, Syria

From BBCArabic.com: This is a great step for Iraqis who will mobilize all their efforts to rid Iraq from those who aspire to destroy the peace and the security in the country, this is because Iraqis reject all types of aggression and just want to live in peace. Any terrorist attack will hinder the progress of the peace and the security in the country. Iraqis must unite to fight terrorists who use religion as a cover to achieve their evil goals and to deprive Iraqis of any chance for building a free democratic Iraq. Those terrorists would love to see the dictatorship back in Iraq, but we Iraqis will unite against such evil.
Mohammed, Baghdad, Iraq

The road will be long and tortuous, but with the will of god and the determination of our Iraqi leaders we hope and pray to overcome all obstacles and build a strong and united country
Ahmad Walih, Basra

After all the suffering and killings, we are finally able to begin the long journey to a free and democratic nation.

The road will be long and tortuous, but with the will of god and the determination of our Iraqi leaders we hope and pray to overcome all obstacles and build a strong and united country. We thank the coalition forces for their continued support, but we need to begin managing our own affairs. The sooner we commence the sooner we can start on the path of reconciliation and healing, in a way very similar to what occurred in South Africa more than 10 years ago. May we be as fortunate to have such a positive result, only time will tell...
Ahmad Walih, Basra, Iraq

They went there with historic arrogance defying the opinion of the world. They diverted the priority of combating terrorism. They made a new breeding ground for criminals and terrorists. They put the whole world in turmoil. Now they are simply running away leaving behind a nation destroyed.
Abu Bakar Ahmed Syed, Dubai, UAE

The interim government must improve the security situation or else there will be no improvement to the lives of the Iraqi people The Iraq government should have the power to control all foreign troops.
Kondwani Hara, Lilongwe, Malawi

Listening to Tony Blair on the subject of the hand-over on Radio 4's Today programme this morning it became evident that it was as much a surprise to him as it was to the rest of us. Special relationship? Hah!
Bern Geelan, Bolton, UK

Congratulations! Very clever, very good timing, brilliant! Now who knows, how many gruesome attacks from al-Qaeda are now completely out of timing. Now there is hope for a peaceful future for Iraq, for the other Middle East countries and for a solution to the crisis between fundamentalist Islam and the western culture. My deepest respect! Good work.
Helle Hartmann Nielsen, Vejle, Denmark

Too late and not in proper hands.
Sergey, Nizhnevartovsk, Russia

I'm very happy for the Iraq people, they should stand up and defend this freedom they have.
Onyeabo Ebenmelu, Abuja

This is the best thing the USA has done in many years. I wish Iraq every success with their new freedom. Every one should now support the Prime Minister of Iraq.
Peter Graham, Oman

Well I suppose it does make it harder to attack and bomb. I suppose it also means, that whilst the Nato Group is all together, the Iraqi Government can now request assistance, rather than the US, on their behalf.
Andy, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Wow, such anger towards the coalition on a day when it gave the Iraqis a new start on life. I imagine if we would have handed the country back nine months ago and civil war broke out, the same naysayers today would be just as nasty. I guess political axe-grinding and anti-US feelings beat out Iraqi freedom in all regards.
T Jack, Seattle, USA

The ease by which this was done shows how nominal this transfer of power is. Combine this with the total secrecy born out of fear of militants just how bad a state Iraq is in.
Tim Edwards, UK

I think the handover is a sham early or not. The big showdown should have had the name Paramount Pictures next to it not War on Terror. The US hand picked Saddam Hussein and brought him into power and when he had served their purpose big bad Bush sent in his men to apparently quash the al-Qaeda sponsored Hussein. I think the early handover shows the fear Bush has from the people who have already seen this movie many a time.
Kosser Mohammed, London, UK

With sovereignty and power in the hands of the Interim Govt more robust action will be immediately ordered and taken by the Iraqis in partnership with the coalition forces which had been holding back its punch to completely destroy these pockets of irregulars. Mark my word you will see fireworks ordered by the Iraqi interim government.
Kengchu Au, Singapore

There is no more room for anti-USA demonstrations now
Enrique Guzzetti, Bergamo

I believe that the transfer of sovereignty to Iraq is really necessary, only if the UN will stand by the Iraqis and support them during the difficult times ahead. All of those that wanted the coalition forces out of Iraq must now offer a big hand to help maintain the peace and transition to democracy. There is no more room for anti-USA demonstrations now. It's time now time for those countries that opposed intervention to give Iraq a hand.
Enrique Guzzetti, Bergamo, Italy

There are likely to be lots of attacks and killings over the next two days. Bringing forward the handover won't stop the violence, but it'll let the West claim that it's not our fault. Bush has washed his hands of the affair...
Gavni, Sophia Antipolis, France

USA's investment has turned sour and this is a cut loss.
Siv Bal, Singapore

Surely we haven't forgotten the real reason for the US being there? It is imperative for the US to retain a military base in Iraq to ensure the region and the oil, so the handover of power to a US-appointed group of people means nothing. They still have control.
Erik, Brussels, Belgium

I think we should not mistake the departure of Paul Bremer with power transfer in Iraq. Mr Allawi and other Iraqi officials will not have a huge difference on Iraq. This is why, we can conclude, only Bremer has left Baghdad and the rest of things are the same.
Akmal Dawi, Kabul, Afghanistan

There has been a lot of heartache and bloodshed to get to this point. I for one would like to wish them luck and success as the new chapter of Iraq's history begins.
Phil, England

Good, get it done and provide all the support required to help the Iraq people to lead a normal life and govern themselves. Leave the military help to United Nations and bring home the US and UK troops.
David Cummings, Marlborough

A June 30 handover would have engendered a spate of insurgent violence
Niraj, London

An excellent idea. A June 30 handover would have engendered a spate of insurgent violence. Iraq can now focus on stabilising security and restoring democracy.
Niraj, London

Iraq handover: It's a bit ludicrous, don't you think? Americans, together with the British muscled their way illegally into the country, and now we have legal documents signifying the handover? How can we justify this?
Tam Yeng Siang, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

You could have pointed out that "sovereignty" cannot be transferred as the invading powers claim, and that even as a propaganda exercise the transfer of limited power to an ex-CIA agent leaves much to be desired. In short, it's nonsense until the invaders leave, isn't it?
Milton A, Crawley, UK

Does it really matter when the puppet government is still in the hands of the puppet master!
Clive, Dartford, UK

The handover is like an infant learning to walk by itself. This will take a long period before total Iraqi power is re-established.
Jon, London, UK

Hopefully the transfer of power to the interim Iraqi government will help curb terrorist activities. Those who wanted to see America fail in Iraq and did not care what happens to Iraqis will be disappointed. When the American president says something he means it. I appreciate Bush and Blair for their steadfastness and perseverance for the difficult decisions. They have demonstrated their courage and strength to stand up for what is right.
G Khan, USA

It was already overdue.
Rowland Ogundu, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Apparently the Iraqi sovereignty is so meaningless, that it can be handed over in the hallway on Bremer's way out.
Rob Onderwater, Overijse, Belgium

This is a farce, as is the entire operation. The US is handing over a broken society and trashed country. They bombed the place to pieces and now they hand it back. Bush and Blair are disgraceful. They can only redeem themselves by leaving now. Iraq is heading for civil war. The mess created by the Bush administration is just being shifted back to the long suffering Iraqis. I only hope Iraq now pardons Saddam so that the country can unify around the common good.
John Li, Australia

I just found out that the US has transferred sovereignty to the Iraqi interim government and I can tell you that I almost shed a tear. This day officially starts a new beginning for the Iraqi people. All of these people that continued to slam the US for occupying Iraq can now bite their tongue.
Josh Gardner, Plymouth Meeting, PA, USA

I am pleased that they are free.
Sharon, Ohio, USA

At last! lets get our troops out and safely home. Leave the Iraq people to fight amongst themselves and find their own way back to normality- no outsider can do this for them.
Anonymous, Scotland

The whole handover is just a joke. The ultimate power will stay with the Americans with the exception that Iraqis will now have to do the dirty work for them (security). What kind of government is it if its handover ceremony takes place in the dark and behind closed doors? If they can't protect themselves how can they protect the Iraqi people?
Omar, Finland

Well, it's a start. A lot of the responsibility for success certainly still depends on the US-led coalition, but even more responsibility now rests with the Iraqi people. They cannot simply be given a functioning democracy. They must want it, they must fight for it, and they must build it piece by piece.
Mel, New York City, USA

Sovereignty has been handed over by the USA like a thief in the night, scared by the kidnapping.
Tim, Belgium


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