U.N. gives mixed report on Iraq

July 20, 2011 at 2:07 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, July 20 (UPI) -- Though Iraq is regaining its strength after the U.S.-led invasion, slow political progress is causing problems for everyday citizens, U.N. officials said.

U.N Secretary Ban Ki-moon in his latest report on Iraq said Baghdad since forming a new government this year has taken key steps to strengthen its role in the region.

"The Iraqi people can be proud of the progress that they have made over the past eight years," he said in his report. "However, the country continues to face considerable political, security and developmental challenges that require the strong support of the United Nations and the international community."

Iraq despite forming a government after March 2010 parliamentary elections still is without appointments to key security positions. The Iraqi prime minister has suggested shrinking the size of the government.

Meanwhile, assassinations and indirect fire on military installations plague security developments in the country.

Ad Melkert, the U.N. special envoy to Iraq, said it was difficult to envision a scenario in which Iraq's fundamental gains could be reversed. A paralyzed government, however, was blocking true developments in the country.

"The new Iraq will only be a real opportunity for all Iraqis if their leaders will be decisive in their actions, allies will not turn away in their support, and its sovereignty will be respected," he said.

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