The inauguration of Iraq's new government marks a new era in relations with the country that the US has occupied for more than three years, President George W. Bush said Sunday.
"The formation of a unity government in Iraq is a new day for the millions of Iraqis who want to live in peace," Bush said. "And the formation of the unity government in Iraq begins a new chapter in our relationship with Iraq."
The president did not speak of the spree of bombing, mortar rounds and a drive-by shooting that killed at least 18 Iraqis and wounded dozens - most of them hit by a suicide bomber who targeted a Baghdad restaurant during Sunday's lunch hour.
Bush said he called President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and parliament speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani to congratulate them on working together.