The War in Iraq
Iraqi Exiles Helping to Form Interim Government
By VOA News
Aug 12, 2011, 8:34pm

A report in a leading U.S. newspaper says the Pentagon has begun sending a team of Iraqi exiles to Baghdad to be part of a temporary U.S.-led government.

The New York Times says in Saturday's editions that about 150 Iraqi exiles have been chosen to work with retired U.S. General Jay Garner, who is heading up Iraq's post-war reconstruction.

The exiles will take-up positions at each of Iraq's 23 ministries and help rebuild the government structures that would then be handed over to a new Iraqi authority.

The paper says Washington hopes to have an interim Iraqi authority in place by late May.

The team of Iraqis is led by Emad Dhia, an engineer who left Iraq 21 years ago. He will be General Garner's top Iraqi advisor.

On Monday, General Garner will preside at a meeting in Baghdad of about 100 Iraqis from all ethnic and religious groups to discuss procedures for developing the interim government. Some groups, including a prominent Shiite group, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq say they will boycott the Baghdad meeting and will instead attend an opposition meeting in Spain that began on Friday.

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