The Coalition Provisional Authority and the United States today turned control of Iraq over to a new sovereign Iraqi government, two days before the self-imposed June 30 deadline.

Only hours later, members of Iraqs interim government took their oaths of office.

CPA Administrator Paul Bremer, who left Iraq shortly after the transfer of power, read the following letter during the transition ceremony:

As recognized in U.N. Security Council resolution 1546, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist on June 28th, at which point the occupation will end and the Iraqi interim government will assume and exercise full sovereign authority on behalf of the Iraqi people. I welcome Iraq’s steps to take its rightful place of equality and honor among the free nations of the world.

Sincerely, L. Paul Bremer, ex-administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority