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UN envoy cautiously optimistic on Iraq
UN envoy says there are grounds for 'cautious optimism' about Iraq's future
By The Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ' The top U.N. envoy in Iraq says there are grounds for "cautious optimism" about the country's future if its leadership is united and there is a stronger spirit of cooperation in the region.

Ad Melkert told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that the key to consolidating and further strengthening "the indisputable gains" in Iraq is the successful implementation of the power sharing agreement reached last November.

That agreement was signed by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ayad Allawi who leads the Sunni-backed Iraqiya party, and the Kurdish region's President Massoud Barzani. But bickering among Iraq's political leaders has kept the government, seated in December, from appointing new defense, interior and national security ministers.

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