President Bush and other world leaders are welcoming the formation of an Iraqi government, months after the country's parliamentary elections.

Mr. Bush issued a statement Saturday saying Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government marks the end of Iraq's difficult and inspiring democratic transitional process. Mr. Bush added that the United States and freedom-loving nations will stand with Iraq as it takes its place among the world's democracies.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair called the new government a huge step forward. Italian officials also congratulated Iraq on its new government.

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan praised Iraqis for their determination in forming a government despite violence across the country. In a written statement, he voiced hope the government will quickly address crucial issues, including security, reconstruction and the respect of human rights.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.