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EU, Iran Welcome New Iraqi Government


http://gdb.rferl.org/9DE13EC9-3F2B-4D38-ADB5-7A26E6901532_w203.jpg --> http://gdb.rferl.org/9DE13EC9-3F2B-4D38-ADB5-7A26E6901532_mw800_mh600.jpg Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki at a May 21 press conference (epa) May 21, 2006 -- The European Union and Iran today welcomed the formation of the new Iraqi government.

The endorsement from Brussels and Tehran follows similar words of praise from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and other world leaders.

Iraq's parliament on May 20 endorsed Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and his 37-member cabinet after five months of postelection wrangling.

It is Iraq's first full-term government since the U.S.-led toppling of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

However, the posts of interior and defense minister have only temporary appointees, with more lobbying for permanent candidates expected between Shi'ite, Sunni, and Kurdish factions.

In other news, violence continued in Iraq today, with roadside bombs and a drive-by shooting killing three people and wounding 21 in Baghdad alone.

(compiled from agency reports)
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