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U.S. Urges Iraqi Elections In January

27 June 2004 -- The United States wants Iraq to hold elections as planned next January despite a suggestion by Iraqi's incoming Prime Minister Iyad Allawi that security concerns could force a delay.

White House spokesman Scott McClellan, on a trip with U.S. President George W. Bush to a NATO summit in Istanbul, said today the United States remains committed to elections in January but also understands security concerns.

Allawi, whose interim administration formally takes over from the U.S.-dominated Coalition Provisional Authority on 30 June, said yesterday that polls could be as late as March because of violence.

But today, Allawi said elections will take place as planned, noting that earlier comments about a delay on national polls had been misinterpreted.