Iraqi president and prime minister declared the formation of a 30-member commission Saturday to promote national reconciliation. "The commission will immediately begin its work, holding conferences and meetings, and it will prepare a media campaign for reconciliation," President Jalal Talabani told a joint news conference with the prime minister.
"This is an Iraqi initiative for those who are part of the political process," Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said, according to AFP. The announcement moves forward Maliki's program of reconciliation first presented on June 25. "I don't think al-Qaeda has been successful in its objective (to promote civil war)," said National Security Advisor Ahmed al-Rubaie, "but I admit there are cracks in national unity."
On the ground, Saturday saw at least six members of the Iraqi security forces and one civilian killed in ambushes and bomb attacks around the country, security officials said.