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Iraq: UN hails completion of new government

Iraq: UN hails completion of new government, offers help in tackling challenges

SRSG Ashraf Qazi

The United Nations mission in Iraq, which has been pushing for an all inclusive government in the war-torn country ever since it was set up after the United States-led invasion three years ago, today hailed the completion of a new cabinet and offered its support in dealing with the many problems facing it.

Secretary General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative Ashraf Qazi “expressed his hope that the government of Prime Minister Nuri Al Maliki will now be able to move forward in tackling its many challenges,” the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) said in a statement.

Mr. Qazi reiterated UN readiness “to assist in building the capacity of the new administration to deliver basic services, including a human rights protection system, to the people of Iraq,” it added.

The key ministries of defence, national security and interior were the last posts remaining to be filled.

The UN stood ready “to promote peaceful political dialogue and national reconciliation in accordance with its mandate,” the Mission statement said.

In another development, the Secretary-General’s latest report on Iraq, released today, says it is encouraging that the country’s political leaders can rise to the challenge and engage in a spirit of compromise to form an inclusive and democratic Government, despite the overall circumstances.

But the report also warns that the need for sustained inter-communal dialogue and confidence-building measures remains as urgent as ever. Unless a strong positive dynamic towards national reconciliation is generated soon, there is a danger of increased polarization and sectarian strife, Mr. Annan says.

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