US President George W Bush on Friday hailed Saddam Hussein's execution as "an important milestone" on the road to building an Iraqi democracy but warned it would not end deadly violence there.
"Saddam Hussein's execution comes at the end of a difficult year for the Iraqi people and for our troops," Bush said in a statement released as he prepared to usher in 2007 at his Texas ranch.
"Bringing Saddam Hussein to justice will not end the violence in Iraq, but it is an important milestone on Iraq's course to becoming a democracy that can govern, sustain, and defend itself, and be an ally in the war on terror," he said.
"Many difficult choices and further sacrifices lie ahead. Yet the safety and security of the American people require that we not relent in ensuring that Iraq's young democracy continues to progress," said Bush.