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Iraqi President Says New Agreements Disprove Civil War Fears

By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2006 – Agreements announced today regarding Iraq's unity government "prove that the civil war is out of the question and that the Iraqi people will not accept [for] a civil war to take place," Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said during a Baghdad news conference today.

Talabani's assessment came on the third anniversary of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and corresponded with agreements on the policy statement for national unit government and on the concept of a political national security council to participate in running the country's affairs.

Only minor issues regarding the council's powers have yet to be worked out, he told reporters today.

"We reached an agreement on the major issues," Talabani said. "We have also discussed other issues on proposed amendments to the laws in the future."

Talabani declared the agreements a big step forward for the country.

"We have passed through difficult times, during which the situation in the country was tense," Talabani said. He credited the Iraqi people, who he said in concern for their national unity have "foiled the attempts of those who sought to foment sectarian sedition."

"We are far from a civil war," the Iraqi president said. "We are also heading toward a complete and comprehensive national accord [and] we will also form a national unity government soon."

Talabani said the Iraqis have agreed to work together to promote their security, police and army forces "so as to be able to bid the coalition forces farewell as soon as possible."

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