23 May 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes Formation of New Government in Iraq

NEW YORK, 22 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the announcement of the formation of the new Iraqi Government and extends his congratulations to Prime Minister Al-Maliki and members of the first constitutionally elected Government of Iraq.

The Secretary-General wishes the new Government every success in confronting the enormous challenges facing Iraq.  He hopes that the process of forming a broad-based and inclusive Government will be completed as soon as possible, so that it will be able to quickly address the crucial issues of national reconciliation, security, the rule of law, respect for human rights, reconstruction and development.

The Secretary-General also pays tribute to the courage and determination that the Iraqi people have shown despite the ongoing violence.  He urges them to seize the opportunity offered by the successful establishment of a broad-based and inclusive Government, and come together to support their new Government and build the foundations of a united, peaceful and prosperous Iraq.

The Secretary-General reiterates the commitment of the United Nations to fully support the new Government and the people of Iraq in accordance with its mandate under Security Council resolution 1546 (2004).

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