Britain welcomes move to set up Iraqi government | india | Hindustan Times
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Britain welcomes move to set up Iraqi government

Britain has heaved a sigh of relief on news that Iraq's squabbling political factions have finally agreed to form a permanent post-Saddam Govt.

india Updated: Apr 23, 2006 08:33 IST

Britain has heaved a sigh of relief on news that Iraq's squabbling political factions have finally agreed to form a permanent post-Saddam government to be headed by Shiite leader Jawad al-Maliki.

"I welcome the Presidency Council's request for Jawad al-Maliki, the United Iraqi Alliance's nominee as prime minister, to form a government," Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said on Saturday.

"I hope this can now pave the way to a new administration which will be able to get on with the task of tackling the many difficult issues facing Iraq," said Straw in a statement issued by the Foreign Office in London.

"Nobody doubts that this is going to be a tough four years, but the new administration can rest assured that Britain will be a staunch ally and friend."

Straw also congratulated the re-election of President Jalal Talibani by the Iraqi Council of Representatives, ending four months of political squabbling in Baghdad.

Maliki was immediately tasked with forming, within 30 days, Iraq's first full-term government since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein's dictatorship after the US and British invasion of the country in March 2003.

Straw travelled to Iraq with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice three weeks ago on an unannounced mission to urge Iraqi politicians to overcome their differences and agree once and for all on a post-Saddam government.

Putting such an administration in place is seen as an essential step to restore stability in Iraq and bring closer the day when US, British and other coalition troops can be withdrawn.