Iraq Regains Sovereignty After 15-Month Occupation
Baghdad, Iraq - The U.S.-led coalition formally ended its occupation of Iraq today by handing sovereignty to an interim government, unexpectedly moving up the transfer by two days to thwart terrorism and give the initiative to the new leadership.
Ambassador Paul Bremer handed legal authority to Iraq's Chief Justice Medhat Mahmud in a ceremony at 10:26 a.m. local time, according to the coalition. The handover, which was scheduled for Wednesday, was brought forward at the request of Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, ``who was ready to take control and put his policies into force,'' coalition spokeswoman Victoria Whitford said. Bremer later left the country, Sky News reported.