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Bush applauds political agreement among Iraqi leaders

Bush applauds political agreement among Iraqi leaders

President George W. Bush on Monday applauded what he called a promising sign of political progress by Iraqi leaders who said they had found common ground on some issues standing in the way of reconciliation.
The meeting Sunday brought Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki together with fellow Shiite Vice President Adil Abdul-Mahdi, Sunni Arab Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, the head of the northern autonomous Kurdish region Massoud Barzani and President Jalal Talabani, who is also a Kurd.
"These leaders ... recognize the true and meaningful reconciliation that needs to take place," Bush said in a brief statement upon his arrival at Albuquerque. "They recognize this is a process. Yesterday's agreement reflects their commitment to work together for the benefit of all Iraqis to further the process."
He said their action "begins to establish new power sharing agreements."
The Iraqi leaders said they agreed on some issues that the U.S. has set as benchmarks for progress, among them holding provincial elections, releasing prisoners held without charge and changing the law preventing many former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party from holding government jobs and elected office.
But no details were released and committees must hash out final versions of legislation to be presented to the Iraqi parliament. Iraqi officials have announced similar deals in the past, only to have them fall apart.
Bush's statement came after a week of tense exchanges between Washington and Baghdad surrounding the struggles of Maliki's government, calls by two key senators for Maliki to step down and what was widely construed as a less-than-enthusiastic Bush statement in reaction to Maliki's problems.
The Bush White House later put out a statement seeking to play down reports of administration disenchantment with Maliki, saying the president continues to support him.


Updated : 2021-04-14 05:02 GMT+08:00