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UN Condemning Rising Violence in Iraq

Condemning Rising Violence in Iraq, UN Envoy Urges Fresh Thinking

New York, Feb 4 2007 11:00AM

Reacting against rising bloodshed in Iraq, the senior United Nations envoy there today called on the country's people to display the far-sighted leadership needed to find a way out of the current crisis.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Representative, Ashraf Qazi, "condemned in the strongest terms the upsurge in violence in Iraq which targeted innocent civilians in popular markets and universities."

In a statement released by his office in Baghdad, Mr. Qazi said, "This seemingly unending cycle of violence killed and wounded hundreds of Iraqi civilians in Al-Sadriyah area in Baghdad, Al-Maktabat market in Al-Hillah and Kirkuk." The envoy called on Iraqi leaders and citizens to exhibit fresh thinking in the face of the violence "that is tearing their society to pieces."

Welcoming the statement by Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani calling on all to remember the fundamental unity of Islam and the need to close ranks in defence of civilized values and the future of the country, Mr. Qazi stressed the primary role of Iraqis in preventing further bloodshed.

"However strongly the international community seeks to help in the current situation, Iraq's future health depends on wise, far-sighted and courageous leadership that could bring Iraq's factions together in mutual understanding of a way out of the current crisis," he said.

ENDS

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