The Iraqi parliament agreed to give Jalal Talabani, an Iraqi Kurdish leader, a second term as Iraq's president. Mr. Talabani said, "This is a new Iraq. Iraqi unity is sacred for all, so we should all work to reinforce the national unity.”
The parliament also selected Jawad al-Maliki to serve as the Iraq's new prime minister. Mr. Maliki, an iraqi Shiite, said he will choose a cabinet that includes "all components of Iraqi society."
Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Iraq, says Mr. Maliki is a "tough-minded" patriot:
"He has said a number of very positive things since he was nominated, that he will work for all Iraqis, he will put a competent, independent, strong team together, that he will deal with the issue of the militias, and that he will also review the issue of how de-Baathification has been carried out."
President George W. Bush says the Iraqi people have reached a milestone:
"I realize we still have more work to do. Democracy in Iraq will be a major blow to the terrorists who want to do us harm."
Mr. Bush says, "Iraq's new leaders have important responsibilities to the people who chose them":
"They have the responsibility of improving the lives of men and women, regardless of their religious status and nature. They have a responsibility to defeat the terrorists. They have a responsibility to unite their country."
The Iraqi leadership now must choose the rest of the Iraqi cabinet. "There's going to be more tough fighting ahead in Iraq, and there will be more days of sacrifice and struggle. Yet the enemies of freedom have suffered a real blow," says President Bush. "The Iraqi people have defied the terrorists threats," he says, "and Iraqi leaders have laid the foundations for a democratic government of, by, and for the Iraqi people."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.