In what some on both the left and right
of the political divide may view as being overly optimistic, on his
last day in office, United Nations envoy to Iraq, Staffan de Mistura,
congratulated Iraq's Government on strides made towards the
consolidation of democracy and the restoration of sovereignty. "Iraq
is celebrating today's withdrawal from its cities, towns and
villages of the United States-led Multinational Forces in IRAQ,"
said Mr. de Mistura, cautioning "that many challenges including
providing better services to the people, greater inclusiveness and
improving security for all remain."
Mr. de Mistura's statements came one day after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke out against recent attacks, calling on the people of the strife-torn nation to reject attempts to incite further violence as it takes full responsibility for security in its cities. However, in keeping with the statements made today by Mr. de Mistura, "the Secretary-General notes that Iraq has been benefiting from an improving security environment, and appeals to the people of Iraq to continue to reject these attempts to incite further violence in the country," said the Secretary-General's spokesperson.
Mr. de Mistura, underscored today that "significant progress has been achieved on many fronts ... [however] ...the primary responsibility for putting Iraq on an irreversible path towards lasting peace and development rests with the people of this great country, who are relying on their political leaders to put the needs of the State and of the people above all other interests," Mr. de Mistura said.