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7/26/04 - IRAQI SECURITY - 2004-07-27

Iraq’s interim government is facing car bombings, assassinations, and sabotage. Some of these acts of terrorism are being committed by remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime. Others are being carried out by terrorists who infiltrate into Iraq from neighboring countries.

Meeting in Cairo, the foreign ministers of Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey issued a statement recognizing the “necessity of eliminating all terrorist and other armed groups present and emanating from Iraqi territory, which constitute a danger to Iraq and neighboring states.”

Hoshyar Zebari, Iraq’s foreign minister says his government expects Iraq’s neighbors “to do more, not to be indifferent.” Mr. Zebari says, “We should go beyond these diplomatic niceties to some real work.”

U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says that the terrorists are trying “to defeat the liberated Iraqi people”:

“Importantly, courageous leaders continue to step forward to help lead their country. Thousands of Iraqis are volunteering continuously to serve in the various Iraqi security forces. The damaged infrastructure is being repaired. The new Iraqi prime minister [Iyad Allawi] has announced a series of measures to strengthen security and to defeat the insurgents. His government has been welcomed by the international community, and importantly, it’s being welcomed by the Iraqi people.”

Ultimately, it’s going to be up to the Iraqi people to build a democracy and a representative system. Terrorists in Iraq may have thought “that they could ignite a civil war,” says Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. “Instead, the Sunnis and Shi’as, and the Kurds are today working together in the Iraqi interim government to try to help rebuild their country.”