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Rumsfeld Expects Iraqis Will Help Government End Violence

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, July 7, 2004 – As the Iraqi people become more confident in their new interim government, more of them will cooperate in the government's efforts to end the violence plaguing the country, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said here today.

The secretary made his comments in a question-and-answer session with reporters after he, Secretary of State Colin Powell and their Australian counterparts announced cooperative defense agreements between the two countries.

Rumsfeld said he believes the Iraqi people ought to feel reassured now that a sovereign Iraqi government is in place, making decisions and exercising its authority. Noting that most of the recent violence in the country is taking the lives of innocent Iraqi men, women and children, the secretary said he expects that the Iraqi people will increase the pressure to bring it to an end.

"It seems to me that at a certain point, the Iraqi people will decide that they're against that," Rumsfeld said, "and that they will be supportive of the government." The secretary added he believes Iraqis increasingly will dissuade people from engaging in the insurgency and will report those who do to the Iraqi authorities so the country's security forces can take appropriate action.

The secretary said it's too early to tell what role U.S. or coalition forces will play in any given area or situation in Iraq under new security measures adopted by the Iraqi government.

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Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld

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