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Iraqi Leaders Pledge To Probe Rights Abuses

In Talks With UN Envoy, Iraqi Leaders Pledge To Probe Reported Rights Abuses

The senior United Nations envoy to Iraq held talks this weekend with the country's President and Prime Minister on the latest political developments as well as reported human rights abuses in government detention centres, which the two leaders pledged to rectify.

In his meeting today with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi discussed last week's preparatory meeting for the Iraqi National Accord Conference, to be held next February or March.

Both agreed that the meeting was an important step forward along the road to national reconciliation among Iraqis and explored areas of cooperation to ensure that all efforts are focused on the success of the Conference, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

With regards to the parliamentary elections scheduled for 15 December, President Talabani concurred with Mr. Qazi on the importance of robust presence for international observers wherever possible.

Mr. Qazi also voiced concern about alleged human rights abuses in government detention centers. President Talabani assured Mr. Qazi that he personally, as well as the Government of Iraq, takes these allegations seriously and that measures are being taken to rectify the situation, UNAMI said.

On Saturday, Mr. Qazi raised similar concerns with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jafari, who assured the UN envoy that the Baghdad Government was equally concerned, and that two investigatory committees had been established to look into the allegations.

They also discussed steps that must be taken to ensure success in convening the National Iraqi Accord Conference.

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