U.S., Iraqi Leaders: Countries Committed to Democratic Iraq
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 28, 2006 President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki are committed to the security and prosperity of a democratic Iraq and the global fight against terrorism, according to a joint statement the two leaders issued today.
“Via secure video, we discussed a range of issues of great importance to our common mission in Iraq, including the development of Iraqi security forces, efforts to promote reconciliation among all Iraqis, and the International Compact for Iraq and the economic reforms associated with it,” they said.
The two countries have three goals that will help successfully complete the common mission, the leaders said. Those goals include accelerating the pace of Iraqi security force training, Iraqi assumption of command and control of Iraqi forces, and the transfer of responsibility for security to the Iraqi government.
According to the statement, the two countries have formed a high-level working group including the Iraqi national security advisor; the Iraqi ministers of defense and interior; U.S. Army Gen. George W. Casey, commander of Multinational Force Iraq and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad to make recommendations on how these goals can be best achieved.
“This working group will supplement existing mechanisms to better define the security partnership and enhance coordination,” they said.
The leaders said they are committed to the partnership their two countries and governments have formed and will work “in every way possible for a stable, democratic Iraq and for victory in the war on terror.”