WASHINGTON (CNN)- In a statement issued Saturday, President Obama congratulated Iraqis for holding provincial elections.
Obama also called the elections an "important step forward" in "the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future."
Read the entire statement after the jump
Below is a statement from President Obama on the Iraqi elections:
I congratulate the people of Iraq on holding significant provincial elections today. Millions of Iraqi citizens from every ethnic and religious group went peacefully to the polls across the country to choose new provincial councils. It is important that the councils get seated, select new governors, and begin work on behalf of the Iraqi people who elected them.
The elections were managed and organized by the Iraqi government with vital assistance from the United Nations Assistance Mission to Iraq. Iraqi police and military forces helped secure the polling sites and protected voters as they cast their ballots. This important step forward should continue the process of Iraqis taking responsibility for their future.
The United States is proud to have provided technical assistance, along with the United Nations and other international organizations, to Iraq’s Independent High Electoral Commission – which performed professionally under difficult circumstances.