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U.S. transfers power in Iraq

Paul Bremer with an unidentified Shiite cleric on Sunday.
• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The U.S.-led coalition has formally handed over sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government at 10:26 a.m. on Monday in a surprise move two days ahead of schedule.

The small, low-key ceremony happened inside the Coalition Provisional Authority's "Green Zone" headquarters in Baghdad.

The decision to speed up the ceremony before the June 30 deadline came Monday morning as Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari met with coalition leaders gathered in Istanbul, Turkey for the NATO summit.

Zebari told reporters Monday morning the early transfer of sovereignty is "a sign we are ready for the job."

"We are ready to take up our responsibility even before June 30th," he said.

More details soon.

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