"Before I turn to my government's plan for Iraq, I have three important messages for you today.
First, we are succeeding in Iraq. It's a tough struggle with setbacks, but we are succeeding.
I have seen some of the images that are being shown here on television. They are disturbing. They focus on the tragedies, such as the brutal and barbaric murder of two American hostages this week. My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and to all those who lost loved ones. Yet, as we mourn these losses, we must not forget either the progress we are making or what is at stake in Iraq.
We are fighting for freedom and democracy, ours and yours. Every day, we strengthen the institutions that will protect our new democracy, and every day, we grow in strength and determination to defeat the terrorists and their barbarism.
The second message is quite simple and one that I would like to deliver directly from my people to yours: Thank you, America.
We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq's freedom. I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are grateful. They are grateful to be rid of Saddam Hussein and the torture and brutality he forced upon us, grateful for the chance to build a better future for our families, our country and our region. We Iraqis are grateful to you, America, for your leadership and your sacrifice for our liberation and our opportunity to start anew."
(Read Prime Minister Allawi's complete address here)