After meeting in Amman, Jordan, President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki issued a statement saying they "are committed to continuing to build the partnership between our two countries as we work together to strengthen a stable, democratic, and unified Iraq."
Speaking through an interpreter, Mr. Maliki said that Iraq is determined to succeed "in the face of all the challenges":
In Iraq, we don't only deal with terrorism. We're dealing with building a whole state in all its aspects -- political, economic, security, militarily -- and all these are signs of maturity that are now very obvious in Iraq. And we hope that they will be complemented and supported by the international community and by our neighbors, who I hope will be supportive not only for the benefit of Iraq, for the benefit of those countries, as well."
President Bush said the United States is "ready to make changes to better support the unity government of Iraq":
"We believe the success of Prime Minister Maliki's government is critical to the success in Iraq. His government was chosen by the Iraqi people through free elections in which nearly twelve million people defied terrorists to cast their ballot."
"The success of the Iraqi government", says Mr. Bush, "depends on the success of Iraqi security forces":
"We agreed on the importance of speeding up the training of Iraqi security forces. Our goal is to ensure that the Prime Minister has more capable forces under his control so his government can fight the terrorists and the death squads, and provide security and stability in his country."
Mr. Bush says, "Success in Iraq requires a united Iraq where democracy is preserved, the rule of law prevails, and minority rights are respected":
"The Prime Minister made clear that splitting his country into parts, as some have suggested, is not what the Iraqi people want, and that any partition of Iraq would only lead to an increase in sectarian violence. I agree."
In the long-term, says Mr. Bush, security in Iraq requires reconciliation among Iraq's different ethnic and religious communities -- "something the overwhelming majority of Iraqis want."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.