US ambassador: Progress in Iraq extremely disappointing
Khaleej Times
August 21, 2007

BAGHDAD - Iraqi political progress has been 'extremely disappointing,' the US ambassador in Baghdad said on Tuesday two weeks before he and the top American military commander in Iraq are to report to Congress.

"Progress on national level issues has been extremely disappopinting and frustrating to all concerned... to us, to Iraqis, and to the Iraqi leadership itself," Ryan Crocker told reporters in the Iraqi capital.

"I would suggest that... before you get meaningful reconciliation that does not just involve leaders but is phased down to society, that is going to take time," he added.

Crocker and General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, are expected to report to the US Congress by mid-September on the progress of their efforts to halt sectarian violence and return Iraq to viable self-governance.

Crocker said that the overall level of sectarian killing has come down, although he conceded, "there are spectacular car bomb attacks."

"What has been happening in the last couple of years... violence, population shift, displacement, tens of thousands of Iraqis killed. We are not just going to overcome that in a few weeks time."

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