CNN BREAKING NEWS
Ahmed Chalabi Press Conference
Aired July 22, 2003 - 14:16 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: Now, in the meantime, Ahmad Chalabi, Iraqi political leader, is in New York. He's been doing a bit of lobbying at the United Nations. And let's listen to what he has to say to reporters after his talk.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
AHMED CHALABI, LEADER, IRAQI NATIONAL CONGRESS: ... with a well-developed political institution and institutions.
Also recognize the rights of the Turkemans and the Assyrians in Iraq. Those facts have to get accepted in the constitution when it is formed. And representatives of all communities must be present in the constitutional process in Iraq.
We are determined to go through with this, and the fact that the government council has made it a priority for itself to start this process is of extreme importance.
It is very important also that we get the support of the United Nations, of the regional countries in the Middle East and also particularly of our neighbors. We need them to be more positive about what is going on in Iraq.
We had hoped that we would -- that this delegation would occupy Iraq's seat of the United Nations. I understand that this was not approved, due to the reservation of some of the neighbors.
We look forward to the day when the United Nations Security Council will seat a governing council representatives as Iraq's representatives to the U.N. Thank you.
QUESTION: secondly the secretary general said yesterday that Iraq, that there shouldn't be democracy imposed on Iraq from the outside. What's you view on that?
CHALABI: Well, I had nothing to do with the killing of Uday, and you have to ask our colleagues. Maybe they have, I don't know.
QUESTION: There's a story that you took over the intelligence, in The New York Times today.
CHALABI: Well, you shouldn't believe whatever, everything you read in the newspapers. The issue is this: We have, been working very hard to develop information about the whereabouts of Saddam and his sons, and the leading members of this regime, and we have developed a great deal of information, which we share with U.S., and we are working hard to finish this job by finding Saddam.
I would also say to you that this is not isolated from the issue of security in Iraq. Getting those people, apprehending them and putting them out of business in some way or another is very important for this.
As for this idea of democracy imposed from outside, it seems to me this is an oxymoron. Democracy is not supposed to be imposed; it's supposed to be the wish of the people.
Perhaps this is some kind of code for something else that people want to say. But I think, in response to that question, I would say to you that the Iraqi people will themselves develop a constitution and have democracy in Iraq.
O'BRIEN: All right, that's Ahmed Chalabi. He was precceded by Adnan Pachachi. Sitting to his left is Aquila al Hashimi. Three of the 25-member of the governing council, fledging governing council attempting to forge a way to Iraqi self-governance, in New York at the United Nations pleading their case for the best way to proceed. And we're going to continue to monitor that one.
TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com