SRSG for Iraq welcomes the formation of the new Iraqi government

Baghdad-20 May 2006 -- SRSG Ashraf Qazi welcomed today the appointment of the new government. In a statement, he said that the near finalization of the first constitutionally-elected government was the culmination of a protracted negotiation in which many of the major issues facing the country had been thoroughly discussed. He hoped that the process of forming a broad-based and inclusive government will be completed as soon as possible. He urged Iraq's political leaders to reach a speedy conclusion to this phase of the political process in order to give Iraq a stable government for the next four years with the political support and confidence to tackle the many problems facing the government and people of Iraq. Filling the remaining posts was a critical part in ensuring a stable and coherent government and he hoped this could be achieved without further delay. He extended to Prime Minister Nuri Al-Mailiki the United Nations' fullest support in building the capacity of the new administration and encouraging a positive political discourse on national reconciliation and the constitutional review process. He also reiterated the commitment of the United Nations to assist the people and the government of Iraq in accordance with its mandate.
SRSG Qazi said that the challenges facing the new government, though daunting, were manageable if Iraq's political, religious and communal leaders concentrated on upholding Iraq's unity, stability and reducing the level of violence throughout Iraq.

In his discussions with those involved in the government formation SRSG repeatedly urged them to use the opportunity of the government formation for a fresh start. He hoped that this would encourage Iraq's citizens and the international community by showing that the government wanted to undertake a major reconstruction of Iraq's political and social fabric to the benefit of citizens and neighbors alike. In turn he hoped that the new government would enjoy the trust and material support from investors inside and outside Iraq which it urgently needed in fulfilling its program.

He urged the incoming government to take advantage of its new term of office to demonstrate its commitment to the highest international standards in promoting human rights, the rule of law and upholding the integrity of public administration. Iraq's citizens deserve nothing less and have every right to expect that competent, transparent government would yield improvements both in terms of public security and in the delivery of public services.