Rice said U.S. officials were hearing "loud and clear" that the new Iraqi leadership intended to be nonsectarian in its decisions on who should head ministries, particularly Interior and Defense, which oversee police and armed forces respectively.
"I think they understand ... the importance of appointing ministers and subordinates who have a reputation for technical competence and a mind-set that is nonsectarian," Rice said.
Meanwhile, another sibling of Sunni Vice President Tariq Hashimi was slain in the country's continuing violence. Gunmen killed Maysoon Hashimi and a bodyguard this morning in Baghdad. Mahmoud Hashimi was shot to death April 13.
Tuesday, a civilian was killed by a roadside bomb near the city of Kirkuk, police said.
In the capital, a bomb on a bus exploded, killing four people and injuring 21.
In a western district of the city, two people were killed and four injured in a roadside bombing aimed at police.