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U.S., Britain Congratulate Iraq Election Winners

13 February 2005 -- The U.S. White House today congratulated the winners of Iraq's election and all candidates and voters for their courage in braving insurgent threats of disruption.

White House spokesman Taylor Gross said the 30 January election was "a positive and significant accomplishment."

In London, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that the Iraqi people have taken an important step on the way to a secure and democratic future. Straw wished the new transitional National Assembly of Iraq well in electing an executive government and drafting a permanent constitution.

However, in Ankara, the Turkish government urged Iraqi electoral officials and the United Nations to examine what it claimed were flawed Iraqi election results, particularly in the northern city of Kirkuk.

Turkey has long complained that Kurdish groups were illegally moving Kurds into Kirkuk in an effort to tip the city's ethnic population balance in their favor.


[For news, background, and analysis on Iraq's historic 30 January elections, see RFE/RL's webpage "Iraq Votes 2005".]

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