U.S. Hands Over Power Early

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Iraq is a sovereign country two days ahead of schedule.

At 10:30 a.m. Monday Baghdad time, the official hand over of power happened in Iraq. The legal documents transferring sovereignty were handed over by U.S. Gov. Paul Bremer to the interim Prime Minister.

The transfer took place during a low-key ceremony in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

A White House spokesman is welcoming Monday’s early transfer of political power in Iraq. President Bush was meeting with NATO leaders at a summit in Istanbul when the transfer took place.

The official said an early transfer had been under discussion with the interim Prime Minister for at least a week and ultimately, it was his call.