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Rumsfeld Says Iraqi Constitution Will Not End Violence

(file photo) 23 August 2005 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld today defended delays with Iraq's draft constitution, and said a new constitution will not end all the violence nor solve all the problems in Iraq.

"Regrettably, completing the [Iraqi] constitution is not likely to end all the violence in Iraq or solve all of the country's problems. But it will represent one more important step towards cementing a new way of life for Iraqis, one ruled by ballot boxes rather than by death squads," Rumsfeld said.

Rumsfeld made the remarks in Washington one day after Iraqi leaders completed a draft, after a one-week delay, and submitted it to parliament. Iraqi lawmakers have now delayed a vote on the document to give negotiators more time to persuade Sunni Arabs to accept it.

Rumsfeld said "democracy has never been described as speedy, efficient, or perfect."