Iraq praised at United Nations

June 19, 2009 at 12:54 PM

UNITED NATIONS, June 19 (UPI) -- The U.N. Security Council congratulated the government of Iraq for its ability to establish a democracy in the Middle East and improve the rule of law.

In a briefing by the outgoing head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq, Staffan de Mistura, the Security Council heard about the progress made in helping Iraq emerge from years of war and decades of dictatorship.

"We have together helped to turn the page on how the Iraqis view us, the organization, the international community and their leaders," he said. "And we have contributed to Iraq assuming a new standing among the world community as an increasingly stable and sovereign nation."

The Security Council noted the supporting role UNAMI played in coordinating political dialogue between the people and the government of Iraq.

Despite work remaining on lingering disputes between the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq and the Baghdad central government, de Mistura acknowledged that progress in Iraq looked promising.

"The future looks moderately bright and there is growing hope," he said.

Iraq is set for a major milestone as U.S. combat forces prepare to pull out of cities and villages by June 30. Susan Rice, the U.S. envoy to the United Nations, said her country would hold to its security agreements while paving the way for a withdrawal of U.S. forces by the end of 2011.

She added Washington would continue to build on its enduring partnership with Baghdad, while calling on the international community to deepen its engagement with the Iraqi government.

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