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NATO chief Rasmussen welcomes new Iraqi government

BRUSSELS, Sept 9 (KUNA) -- NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen Tuesday welcomed the approval of the new, inclusive Iraqi government by the Iraqi Parliament.
"The formation of the government under Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi represents a historic opportunity for Iraq's people and their political leaders to overcome their ethnic and sectarian divides. This new government is an important step towards building unity, security and stability in Iraq," he said in a statement.
Rasmussen encouraged all Iraqi political leaders to stand behind the new government to ensure it addresses the legitimate interests and aspirations of all Iraqis.
"Their support will be essential to defeat the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which poses a grave threat to the Iraqi people, to the wider region, and to our nations," noted the NATO chief.
He added that at the NATO Summit in Wales last week, "we reaffirmed our commitment to the NATO-Iraq partnership. Should the Iraqi government request it, we stand ready to consider measures ...to assist Iraq in its efforts to build more effective security forces." (end) nk.ibi