Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.) made the following statement today on the handover of power in Iraq:

“I am pleased that the transfer of sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government has been completed.  There is clearly a great deal of work ahead and it is my sincere hope that the Iraqi leadership will rise to this challenge and create a better nation for the Iraqi people.  Right now, it is important that the United States and its NATO and Coalition allies continue to have a presence in the country in order to support the Iraqi security forces that will provide the level of security and stability needed for democracy to take hold.  We have made our mission in Iraq a priority and, although continued violence remains likely, we must continue to support our troops by providing them with the proper equipment and training necessary for them to be successful in their mission.”