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Bush Applauds Iraqi Consitution

U.S. President George W. Bush (file photo) 29 August 2005 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. President George W. Bush has welcomed news of the completion of Iraq's draft constitution.

The American leader played down the decision of Iraq's Sunni leaders to reject it.

"There've been disagreements amongst the Iraqis about this particular constitution," Bush said. "Of course, there're disagreements. We're watching a political process unfold, a process that has encouraged debate and compromise [about] a constitution that was written in a society in which people recognize there that had to be give and take."

The draft was read out on 28 August at the Iraqi parliament, but the Iraqi parliamentarians did not vote on it.

It followed weeks of troubled negotiations between Iraq's Shi'a, Kurds, and Sunnis.

Iraqi Sunnis are still not satisfied and yesterday they called for intervention by the United Nations and the Arab League.

Sunnis -- who once held power under Saddam Hussein -- fear a federal system will result in the loss of power and revenues from the country's oil wealth.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called on all Iraqis to support the draft document when it is put to vote on 15 October in a national referendum.

(compiled from agency reports)

See also:

"Draft Constitution Finalized, Despite Some Sunni Objections"

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