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Rice Calls On Iraq To Form Government 'Quickly'

April 3, 2006 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Iraq must move "quickly" to form a government capable of unifying the country's people and putting an end to sectarian violence.

"It is only through a political process in which the Iraqi people have confidence, and political leadership in which they have confidence, that they can be certain to abandon for all time any resort to violence," Rice said. "You cannot have a circumstance in which there is a political vacuum in a country like this that faces so much threat of violence."

Rice made the remark at a press conference today in Baghdad on the second day of a visit to Iraq with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

The visit aimed at pressing the Iraqis to complete the formation of a national unity government following the December 15 parliamentary elections.

Rice and Straw said Iraqis should move forward in selecting a prime minister.

The two diplomats held talks with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and other senior politicians on April 2.

(compiled from agency reports)

Copyright (c) 2006. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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