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Fischer Praises Quicker Transfer of Power in Iraq

After months of transatlantic disagreement over the time plan for restoring sovereignty to the Iraqi people, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who is currently in the United States for talks on Iraq, was quick to praise Washington’s recent decision to speed up the transfer of power. Speaking to reporters after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell on Monday, Fischer called the new U.S. plan for an accelerated transition a "very important step forward" and added, "If the U.N. can play a role, I think this could also be very helpful." Powell for his part stressed that the U.S. government was open to European demands for greater U.N. involvement in Iraq. "We want the U.N. to play a role and it is part of our plan in moving forward," he said. Powell and Fischer both emphasized their willingness to put past disagreements behind them and move on.