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New Iraqi government wins confidence

BAGHDAD, April 28 (UPI) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari's cabinet was approved by legislators Thursday, garnering 180 votes in the 275-seat national assembly.

The 33-member cabinet, including six women and four deputy prime ministers, was announced late Wednesday.

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Foreign Minister Hoshiar Zibari, a Kurd, retained his post and former Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh was appointed minister of planning and development cooperation.

The Shiite leader of the Iraqi National Congress, Ahmed Chalabi, is deputy prime minister and acting oil minister.

Jaafari said his cabinet represented all Iraqi groups, including Sunnis, who had boycotted the elections.

"We are building a new Iraq with the most qualified of its people who will be cooperating to serve their country," Jaafari said.

In Santiago, Chile, where she is traveling, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the hopes of the Iraqi people "are now being realized." She said the United States would now support Iraqis as they work toward a new constitution by Aug. 15, a referendum on the document by Oct. 15, and fresh elections by Dec. 15.

"The United States remains committed to doing all it can to support the Iraqi people," and the new government, she said.

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