Editorial by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's on the Opinion page of The Washington Post - Sun. Dec. 4
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Editorial piece published by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's on the Opinion page of The Washington Post - Sunday, December 4, 2011
Building a stable Iraq
By Nouri al-Maliki, Published: December 4
We stand at the threshold of a monumental juncture in the Iraqi-American relationship. A great many sacrifices by the Iraqi and the American people have enabled Iraq to discard the squalid regime of Saddam Hussein and establish a free and democratic society. As American troops depart in accordance with the Troops Withdrawal Agreement of 2008, we begin a new chapter based, as President Obama noted, on “mutual interests and mutual respect.” The decision to implement the agreement came after negotiations held with respect for each side’s sovereign and political decisions.
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_Solidifying a durable relationship between our two countries is vital. In the coming months, we must mutually focus on economic growth as well as culture, education and the sciences. Iraq has progressed to the stage of state building. We are building more than a million homes for low-income families, and I look forward to seeing construction cranes and high-rises dotting the Baghdad skyline. The struggle for reconstruction is no less daunting than the struggle for security. We are working to breach barriers that impede investment so this vision can become a reality. I am working diligently with our Investment Commission to ensure the rights of foreign investors and to create an environment conducive to investment.
While we have strived to put Iraq’s new democracy on the right path, challenges remain. The political process and relationships between the various political parties continue to develop. Fundamental disputes still surround the political composition of the Iraqi state. I believe these can be solved by combining and expanding the powers of the provinces while adhering to the unity of the state. Disputes concerning our constitution need to be solved through political means.
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