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Iraq: Bush Names Career Diplomat As Civilian Administrator

  • Frank Csongos

Washington, 6 May 2003 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush announced today he has appointed a former ambassador and head of the State Department's counterterrorism office to become the top civilian administrator in Iraq.

Bush said Paul Bremer will head the transition team entrusted to steer Iraq toward democracy. The team includes retired Army General Jay Garner, currently the senior U.S. civilian administrator in Iraq. The 61-year-old Bremer was an assistant to Secretaries of State William Rogers and Henry Kissinger. He was ambassador-at-large for counterrorism from 1986 to 1989 and also served as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands.

Bush said after the appointment that Bremer is "a man of enormous experience; a person who knows how to get things done; he's a can-do type person...[he has a] deep desire to have an orderly country in Iraq that is free and at peace, where the average citizen has a chance to achieve his or her dreams."

Bremer will serve as the senior coalition official in Iraq. As presidential envoy, Bremer will oversee coalition reconstruction efforts. General Tommy Franks will maintain command over coalition military personnel. Bremer will report to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Bremer was recently the chairman and CEO of Marsh Crisis Consulting and was previously managing director of the Kissinger Group, which he joined after 23 years of diplomatic service.