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Bush: Troops' Sacrifices Helped New Iraq Government's Formation

By Gene Harper
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2006 – President Bush singled out the efforts of U.S. servicemembers in his salute to the new unity government that formed in Iraq today.

"The sacrifices of many of our country's noblest and bravest have helped make this day possible," he said. "We will not forget their contribution to our security and Iraq's democracy."

Thirty-nine ministers and state secretaries received the Iraqi Parliament's approval today, culminating the move to form a democracy that started with the U.S. and coalition's toppling of former dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

"Iraqis now have a fully constitutional government, marking the end of a democratic transitional process in Iraq that has been both difficult and inspiring," Bush said. "This broadly representative unity government offers a new opportunity for progress in Iraq." He added that it "reflects Iraq's diversity and opens a new chapter in that country's history."

The president cautioned the Iraqi's new leaders that great challenges remain ahead. "But they also know that they -- and their great country -- will not face them alone," he said. "The United States and freedom-loving nations around the world will stand with Iraq as it takes its place among the world's democracies and as an ally in the war on terror.

"As Iraq's leaders work together to chart the future of their nation, bringing freedom and security to the Iraqi people, they make the world a safer place for all of us," Bush said.

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President's Statement on New Iraqi Unity Government

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