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Iraq: Ban Hails New Government as ‘Major Step’

Iraq: Ban Hails New Government as ‘Major Step’ in Democratic Progress

New York, Dec 21 2010 2:10PM

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the announcement of a new government in Baghdad as “a major step forward in Iraq’s democratic progress” and urged that prompt attention be given to national reconciliation, reconstruction and long-term stability.

Mr. Ban, who has repeatedly called for a broad-based government since elections in March, “congratulates Iraq’s political leaders for their concerted efforts to ensure that the new government is inclusive, broadly participatory and has the support of the people of Iraq,” a statement issued by his spokesman said.

“He calls on them to continue working in the spirit of national unity to swiftly conclude the government formation process, and address the major challenges that face the country, including national reconciliation, reconstruction and long-term stability,” the statement added.

The Secretary-General pledged continued support from the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) for the people and Government “in building a prosperous and peaceful Iraq.”

On the eve of the Government’s formation last week, the Security Council ended UN mandates stemming from Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the United States-led war that ousted him in 2003, including those on weapons of mass destruction, in a move Mr. Ban called a “milestone” on the country’s path to normality.

ENDS

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