Rumsfeld warns Iraq of pitfalls

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on a surprise visit to Iraq, has warned the country's new interim leaders against political purges and cronyism.

    Rumsfeld warned leaders against political intrigue and nepotism

    Rumsfeld said political intrigue and nepotism could spark "lack of confidence or corruption in government".
       
    He said the United States also opposed any move to delay the political schedule in Iraq, which includes drafting a new constitution by mid-August and national elections in December.
       
    "The presence of US security forces is not going to be something that is going to go on forever," he told reporters travelling with him aboard his military transport plane on a flight from Washington. 

    Planned talks
       
    Carrying a clear message from the US administration, Rumsfeld said he would hold talks in Baghdad with Iraq's new interim Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafari and interim President Jalal Talabani.
       
    Despite al-Jafari and Talabani's designation as major figures in the new transitional government last week, political factions in Iraq continue to actively jockey for power.
       
    Rumsfeld said decisions such as government appointments in ministries should be for the good of Iraq and not based on party loyalties or retribution.
       
    "It's important that the new government be attentive to the competence of the people in the ministries and that they avoid unnecessary turbulence," he said.

    "We have an opportunity to continue to make progress politically, economically ... anything that would delay that or disrupt that as a result of turbulence, or lack of confidence or corruption in government, would be unfortunate."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.