Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement today concerning the Iraqi Government’s opposition to the U.S. military’s efforts to improve security by constructing a wall between Sunni and Shiite neighborhoods in Baghdad:

          "The hard work of our troops deserves our respect and thanks.  Through their sacrifices, they have worked for four years to bring peace in Iraq. But ending the insurgency in Iraq will depend on a political settlement among the Iraqis to resolve the differences between the various ethnic and religious groups.  Building walls between sectarian neighborhoods, without consulting them or the elected government of Iraq, may temporarily increase security, but will not help unite the people of Iraq. Iraqis must be in the lead in fighting their civil war, especially when it comes to actions that could drive wedges between the very groups that must come together."