Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton released a statement today on the announcement of a new Iraqi government. The Secretary said it is now time for Iraqis to take the next steps to confront the challenges facing their nation. She continued, "I congratulate Iraq's political leaders on forming a new, inclusive government that respects the will of the Iraqi people, reflects the nation's diversity, and demonstrates a commitment to democratic ideals. This government is a testament to the desire of Iraqis to settle their differences through free debate and an open exchange of ideas. Iraq's leaders must now take the next steps to tackle the many important challenges still facing their nation and realize a brighter future for all Iraqis."
Secretary Clinton reinforced the United States' continued support for security and prosperity in Iraq. She said, "The United States will continue working with our Iraqi partners at each stage to build a strong, long-lasting relationship between our countries that promotes security and prosperity in Iraq, and stability throughout the region. Our partnership is founded on mutual respect and mutual interest as we work to achieve shared goals. With the new government in place, we look forward to expanding our economic and security relationship, promoting cooperation on science, education, and health, strengthening the rule of law and transparent governance, deepening our cultural exchanges, and improving our partnership in all the areas laid out in our Strategic Framework Agreement. We will also continue helping Iraq take up its increasing role as a constructive member of the international community."
In closing she said, "The formation of this government is a milestone in the emergence of the new Iraq. It constitutes a resounding rejection of the extremists who sought to derail the democratic process and sow discord among Iraqis. Iraq is a great nation with a promising future, and we will stand shoulder to shoulder with the new government to help our Iraqi friends build on what they have already achieved."
You can read the Secretary's complete statement here.