Ahead of January elections, Iraq is entering a crucial transition period as the country's security forces have succeeded in assuming security responsibilities, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said.
While an increase in violence was anticipated during the redeployment of the US military from cities on June 30, a "relative calm" has been achieved and the Iraqi security forces have succeeded in assuming security responsibilities in critical parts of the country, Ban said on Monday.
"I am hopeful that this is a trend that bodes well for the future of Iraq," Ban said in his latest report on Iraq to the UN Security Council.
Expressing concern about the relationship between the Federal Government in Baghdad and the leadership of the Iraqi Kurdistan region, Ban in his report urged the Kurdistan Regional Government and the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament to reconsider the provisions in the draft Kurdistan regional constitution, which could have the potential to aggravate tensions and affect ongoing discussions on the disputed boundaries.
Ban also calls for an end to provocative statements, including those which prejudge in any way the future of areas such as Kirkuk. He warns against any unilateral actions on the ground which the other side is likely to see as hostile in intent, the UN spokesman, Michele Montas, told in New York.