Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki talking to reporters on May 21 in Baghdad (epa)
May 22, 2006 -- U.S. President George W. Bush has heralded the formation of a new Iraqi government, saying it represents "a watershed event" for the troubled region.
In a speech in the city of Chicago that focused on Iraq and the war on terror, Bush said: "This Saturday [May 20] in Baghdad, the new prime minister of Iraq announced a national-unity government. This is a free government under a democratic constitution, and its formation marks a victory for the cause of freedom in the Middle East."
Iraq's new government was sworn in some five months after parliamentary elections.
Bush said the world has now seen the beginning of something new: "constitutional democracy at the heart of the Middle East."
THE COMPLETE STORY:
RFE/RL's complete coverage of events in Iraq and that country's ongoing transition.