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Brahimi 'Welcomes' Allawi Nomination As Prime Minister

UN Envoy Lakhdar Brahimi 28 May 2004 -- A spokesman for Lakhdar Brahimi said today the special UN envoy in Iraq "welcomes" the nomination of Iyad Allawi to be the country's prime minister in the interim Iraqi government due to take power on 1 July.

Earlier today, the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) nominated Allawi, a prominent Shi'a Muslim, for the post.

Brahimi is in charge of putting together a new Iraqi government. His spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi, said the envoy "respects" the decision of the IGC. But it is not clear if Allawi will be Brahimi's final recommendation for prime minister.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell said Washington cannot confirm that Allawi will be Iraq's next prime minister: "We have no position on any candidate at this moment because we are waiting to hear from Ambassador Brahimi, and he needs time to complete his work."

Allawi is a physician and a member of the IGCl. He was formerly secretary-general of the U.S.-sponsored Iraq National Accord, an opposition group made up in part of former military officers who had defected from Saddam Hussein's regime.