WASHINGTON (AFP) – US President George W. Bush has said that the formation of Iraq’s new government will serve as a “devastating defeat” for Al-Qaeda and other groups seeking to create unrest.
“I fully understand that a free Iraq will be an important ally on the war on terror, will serve as a devastating defeat for the terrorists and Al-Qaeda and will serve as an example for others in the region who desire to be free,” Bush at the White House.
The new Iraqi government was formed Saturday and Bush said he had spoken Sunday by telephone with Iraq’s president, Jalal Talabani, new prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki, and parliament speaker, Mahmud Mashhadani, to congratulate them on forming a new “unity government”.
“I assured them that the United States will continue to assist the Iraqis in the formation of a free country,” Bush said Sunday.
“The formation of the unity government in Iraq … begins a new chapter in our relationship with Iraq,” Bush said.
Despite the formation of the new government, Iraq was rocked by more violence.
At least 20 people were killed Sunday, 13 of them in a Baghdad restaurant bombing, as the new national unity government met on its first full day in office.