President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki issued a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to "the security and prosperity of a democratic Iraq and the global fight against terrorism." The statement followed a videoconference in which Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki discussed a range of issues, "including the development of Iraqi security forces, [and] efforts to promote reconciliation among all Iraqis."
The U.S. and Iraq, said the two leaders. "have three common goals: accelerating the pace of training the Iraqi security forces, Iraqi assumption of command and control over Iraqi forces, and transferring responsibility for security to the government of Iraq."
Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki also announced the formation of a high-level working group that will include Iraqi defense minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi, Iraqi national security advisor Mowaffak al-Rubaie, U.S. ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad, and U.S. army general George Casey. According to the joint statement, "This working group will supplement existing mechanisms to better define our security partnership and enhance our coordination."
President Bush says the U.S.-led coalition has "got something else going for us in Iraq":
"Brave Iraqis. They have suffered unbelievable violence. But they remember the twelve million people that voted. They want to succeed. We've got a security track so that these Iraqis can defend themselves. We've got a political track so that the government is of and by and for the people. We've got an economic track to help them realize the vast potential of that country. We'll succeed."
Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki said they are committed to the partnership the United States and Iraq "have formed and will work in every way possible for a stable, democratic Iraq."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.