UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (UPI) -- Significant advancements have been made in Iraq since U.S.-led military forces removed Saddam Hussein from power in 2003, the Iraqi president said.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in his address to the U.N. General Assembly said his country made significant achievements since the end of the Baathist regime.
"The situation in Iraq has changed as a result of immense positive developments that have taken place since the collapse of the former regime and the end of the dictatorship," he told U.N. delegates.
He noted that despite a steady trickle of terrorist attacks throughout the country, Iraq was better suited to take the lead in security operations since U.S. forces ended their combat missions last month.
Iraq, however, has been unable to form a new government nearly seven months after the secular Iraqiya slate scored a narrow victory in parliamentary elections.
Talabani said that despite the impasse, lawmakers in Baghdad were making progress on deciding on new president, prime minister and speaker of parliament.
"It is our hope that this new government will be formed as soon as possible, as any delay in its formation will negatively affect the security situation, reconstruction and prosperity," he said.