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Iraq Reaches A Turning Point

President George W. Bush says that the establishment of a government of national unity in Iraq marks "a turning point in the struggle between freedom and terror":

"Two years ago, al Qaida's leader in Iraq [Abu Musab al-Zarqawi] wrote a letter that said, 'democracy is coming,' and this would mean 'suffocation' for al Qaida and its allies. The terrorists fought this moment with all their hateful power - with suicide attacks, and beheadings, and roadside bombs - and now the day they feared has arrived. And with it has come a moment of great clarity: the terrorists can kill the innocent, but they cannot stop the advance of freedom. The terrorists did not lay down their arms after three elections in Iraq, and they will continue to fight this new government. And we can expect the violence to continue, but something fundamental changed this weekend. The terrorists are now fighting a free and constitutional government. They're at war with the people of Iraq."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, says Mr. Bush, has pledged to work for "a sovereign Iraq that will assume responsibility for the security of its people":

"He committed himself to a free Iraq that will uphold international standards of human rights and respect the role of women in Iraqi society. He pledged to work for a prosperous Iraq that welcomes foreign investments and accelerates reconstruction and lays the foundations for economic growth and opportunity. He declared he would lead a transparent Iraq, where government is open and accountable, and corruption is not tolerated. And he vowed to work for a peaceful Iraq that is the enemy of terror, a friend to its neighbors, and a reliable partner in the community of nations."

President George W. Bush says that in forming a national unity government, Iraqis have proved that there is a desire for liberty in the Middle East.

The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.