US President George W. Bush said Saturday the new Iraqi government "will make America more secure' and suggested it could be the beginning of an eventual drawdown of American forces from Iraq.
"The new Iraqi government will assume greater responsibility for their nation's security," Bush told reporters Saturday upon his arrival in California for an energy event.
"It will have the popular mandate to address Iraq's toughest long-term challenges," said Bush, standing in front of his helicopter. "These are major challenges and the new Iraqi government will not face them alone.
The president offered congratulations to the Iraqi people. He cast the day as a milestone in Iraq's path to democracy and as a victory in his war on terror.