An Iraqi listens to a joint June 8 press conference given by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and U.S. General George W. Casey Jr, chief of coalition forces in Iraq, to announce the death of Al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq, Abu Mus'ab al-Zarqawi (AFP)
PRAGUE, June 9, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamil al-Maliki says the confirmation of key cabinet posts on June 8 marks the start of efforts to rebuild Iraq.
Iraq's parliament approved Jawad al-Bolani as interior minister, General Abd al-Qadir Muhammad Jasim as defense minister, and Sherwan al-Wa'ili as the new minister of state for national security. The appointments followed months of disputes.
In an opinion piece published by "The Times" of London newspaper today, al-Maliki laid out his plans for reconciliation and restoring security. The strategy includes developing infrastructure in the country's more secure regions; revamping Iraq's anticorruption watchdog body; and disbanding militias by incorporating their members into the national security services, but dispersing them to ensure that militias cannot reform.
Al-Maliki also vows to put an end to what he called "ethnic cleansing" in and around Baghdad.