The democratically elected Iraqi Council of Representatives has approved the cabinet of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
According to Prime Minister Maliki, security is one of the major challenges the new government will have to tackle, as well as national unity and other pressing issues. He says that Iraqis "believe that we will have to meet this challenge not only with force. . . .but with steps toward national reconciliation and an effort to build bridges of confidence among the various population groups in Iraq."
President George W. Bush says that Iraqis "can be proud that in three years they have progressed from the oppression of a brutal dictator who fomented sectarian divides to an elected government in which all Iraq's have a voice":
"The formation of a unity government in Iraq is a new day for the millions of Iraqis who want to live in freedom. And the formation of the unity government in Iraq begins a new chapter in our relationship with Iraq."
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says that Prime Minister Maliki is "focused on the right things":
"We are going to sit with the new Iraqi prime minister and his team and look at the security situation both in terms of what remains to be done and who should do it. When I was there, Prime Minister Maliki told me that he wanted to see an acceleration of even the training of Iraqi forces and certainly Iraqi forces stepping up more to take their security responsibilities. They are stepping up. They're taking large parts of territory that they now control."
"Now the hard work of governing begins," says Secretary of State Rice. "Iraqis should know that the United States will do all that it can to help their leaders meet the challenges in the days ahead and build a brighter future for them and their country."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.