October 10th, 2006 11:08 EST
Iraqi government moves forward despite violence, other challenges
Iraq's young government is making significant progress despite recent violence, the spokesman for Multi-National Force - Iraq said at a press briefing here Monday.
Major Gen. William Caldwell IV outlined steps the new government is taking, while reminding attendees of the pressing issues the government faces.
“Iraq's young government, though still in its infancy, is facing extremely complex issues, issues that would cripple many mature nations. Today the elected government of Iraq is only 142 days young,” he said.
Caldwell highlighted the government’s new plan to quell sectarian violence as an example.
"The most telling sign of progress towards reconciliation is that the leaders from diverse factions, with different interests, are working together and are communicating with each other," he said. "Later this month, several hundred civil society representatives will meet for the third of four conferences as part of the prime minister's reconciliation and national dialogue plan. Already, participants of that conference have agreed to work together to reduce the level of violence in this country."
He also pointed out it's easy to lose patience with the peace process when innocent people die daily, but added the government is moving with the urgency the situation requires.
“In order for the peace process to succeed, the Iraqi people must support the government and stand with it against extremist elements. Reconciliation between Iraqis is what will ultimately end this violence," Caldwell concluded.
In other developments throughout Iraq: