Clinton hails Iraq power-sharing deal

2010-11-12 13:31

Washington - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday hailed a power-sharing agreement in Iraq and said the move ensures "meaningful representation" for election victors after months of deadlock.

Echoing President Barack Obama's comments earlier at a G20 summit in Seoul, Clinton said in a statement that the move was a "milestone in the emergence of the new Iraq".

The agreement was "a testament to the determination of the Iraqi people to build their own democracy, a goal only they can achieve", she added.

It ends an eight-month-long power vacuum, which has been accompanied by outbreaks of violence as sectarian factions struggled to form a government in the wake of March 7 elections.

Clinton said it was time for the cross-sectarian coalition to make progress in the war-torn country.

"It is now up to this government to deliver on an inclusive, comprehensive agenda that serves all Iraqis and strengthens the country as a whole," Clinton said.

The agreement after days of intense negotiations meant that President Jalal Talabani named Nuri al-Maliki Maliki as the prime minister-elect on Thursday evening.

Almost immediately underscoring the deal's fragility, however, a group of 60 MPs from a Sunni-backed bloc staged a walk-out of parliament, protesting that the power-sharing deal was not being honoured.

"As Iraqis continue their progress, they will have a committed and consistent partner in the United States," Clinton promised on Friday.