Iraq's new unity government sworn in


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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's first permanent government since the fall of Saddam Hussein was approved by parliament and sworn in on Saturday, despite the failure to fill two key ministry posts because of political disputes.

"The main problem now is security, and they could not appoint defense and interior [ministers]," said prominent Sunni Muslim politician Saleh al-Mutlag, who walked out of the proceedings.

"This session is illegal," al-Mutlag said. "They added seven ministries without getting approval." Al-Mutlag said he and others had asked the government to wait longer to try to fill the critical posts.

Prime Minister-designate Nuri al-Maliki said he would temporarily run the Interior Ministry, and he made a temporary appointment to the Defense Ministry -- Salam al-Zobaie, a Sunni politician who also had been designated as a deputy prime minister.

There are 37 Cabinet posts in all and parliamentary terms last four years.

A top U.S. military commander in Iraq said Friday that the formation of a new Iraqi government will let the country's leaders focus on a key breeding ground for insurgency: unemployment.

Army Lt. Gen. Peter W. Chiarelli said the "linchpin of a peaceful Iraq" is a healthy economy.

"Take the angry young men off the street" and get them jobs, he said.

"Disillusionment, poverty and hopelessness are the breeding grounds of violence," he said.


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