President George W. Bush offered a positive assessment of the situation, saying a strategy was being implemented to lead to victory, make Iraq more secure and lay the foundation for peace.
Bush also called on Iraqi political leaders to come together to form a government. Shi'ite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish leaders are still struggling to form a national unity government more than three months after parliamentary elections.
"I encourage the Iraqi leaders to continue to work hard to get this government up and running. The Iraqi people voted for democracy last December; 75 percent of the eligible citizens went to the polls to vote, and now the Iraqi leaders are working together to enact a government that reflects the will of the people,” he said. “And so I'm encouraged by the progress."
Thousands of protesters have marked the anniversary by rallying against the war in cities in Europe, the United States and Asia.
RFE/RL Iraq Report
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