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Statement on National Unity Summit

Location: Washington, DC

Statement on National Unity Summit

Governor Huntsman to Address Media on his Iraq Visit

Today, U.S. Senators John McCain, Russell Feingold, and John Thune, with Governors Jon Huntsman (UT), Bob Riley (AL), Tim Pawlenty (MN), and Representatives Tom Udall (NM), Mark Kirk (IL), and Joe Schwarz (MI) issued the following joint statement on the need for a National Unity Summit in Iraq.

"We, a bipartisan group of senators, governors and congressmen, just returned from a visit to Iraq. We continue to be extremely proud of the service and sacrifice of the brave Americans and their allies serving in the cause of Iraqi freedom.

Our delegation met with Iraqi government and party leaders from secular, Shia, Sunni and Kurdish parties. We stressed at every opportunity the critical need for the rapid formation of a national unity government. With three months having passed since over 11 million Iraqis voted for a government, the time for action is now. We repeatedly urged Iraqi leaders at all levels to join in a unity government as a vital element in the struggle for success in Iraq.

Iraqi leaders indicated that they would form a unity government within weeks. If it is not accomplished within that time, we encourage President Bush to continue to pursue any and all additional measures necessary to accomplish this critical goal. If the timeline given is not met, one option the President should consider is to urge all parties to convene a Dayton-style summit of political leaders to finish the creation of a national unity government.

Formation of a unity government will be a decisive factor in achieving success in this conflict. It will also accelerate the delivery of billions in aid promised by friendly western and Arab nations waiting for the formation of the new unity government."

Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr., will hold a media availability on Tuesday, March 28 at 2:00 PM in the Governor's Board Room, Suite E 220 in the State Capitol Complex, to discuss his recent visit to Utah servicemen and women serving in Iraq.

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