Hopes high for new, democratic Iraq

Oct. 24, 2003 at 8:04 AM

MADRID, Oct. 24 (UPI) -- Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Iraq's Governing Council chief Iyad Allawi expressed high hope Friday for a new and democratic Iraq.

Allawi said Iraqis were looking forward to building a new country "free from the residues of the old Baath regime" of deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

He said the reconstruction effort would help Iraq "emerge from the darkness and become a beacon for democracy, human rights and law."

He denounced attacks against coalition troops which he said were perpetrated by people who would fear a democratic and free Iraq as a threat to neighboring regimes.

Aznar also told the conference at its conclusion the reconstruction bid was aimed at reinstating the dignity and pride of the Iraqi people.

"The end result of the conference should contribute to restoring stability to Iraq and the whole region and helping Iraq integrate in the free international community," Aznar said.

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