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Iraqi President Criticizes U.S. For Disbanding Army

13 December 2004 -- Iraq's interim President Ghazi al-Yawir says that the U.S.-led coalition was wrong to dismantle the Iraqi security forces following the fall of Baghdad.

In an interview with the BBC, broadcast today, al-Yawir said that dissolving the Defense and Interior ministries was a big mistake at that time.

Al-Yawir said in London on a brief stopover from the United States that Iraq could have screened people out instead of screening them in and this could have saved the interim government a lot of problems.

Al-Yawir said the country's security situation won't be resolved unless Iraq's own security forces are "100 percent efficient."

The Iraqi interim president said he fears insurgents will intensify their campaign of violence in the run-up to elections on 30 January.


[For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".]