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PM Says Iraq Succeeding In Fight For Stability

Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi (file photo) 23 September 2004 (RFE/RL) -- Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi told a joint session of the U.S. Congress today that his country is making progress in its effort to create a stable Iraq despite obstacles and thanked the United States for its March 2003 intervention to oust Saddam Hussein.

"It's my come to Congress and to thank this nation and this people for making our cause your cause, our struggle your struggle," Allawi told Congressmen and distinguished guests.

Allawi added that the values of liberty and democracy are taking hold in the violence-torn country.

"It's a tough struggle with setbacks, but we are succeeding," Allawi said.

The interim prime minister said Iraq will shoulder all security burdens as quickly as possible.

Allawi also assured Congress that national elections will take place in Iraq in January, as scheduled.

He said his country and the world are better off without ousted President Saddam Hussein.

Allawi said he knows that the decision of U.S. President George W. Bush to launch a military attack on Hussein's regime was not an easy one. But, Allawi said, it was the right decision.

Allawi is scheduled to meet with Bush at the White House later today.

[For additional news, background, and analysis on events in Iraq, click here.]