Annan condemns deadly mosque bombings in Iraq appeals for cooperation and unity

A statement issued by Mr. Annan’s spokesman said the Secretary-General “regrets the continued acts of intolerance and violence, particularly when perpetrated against innocent civilians and places of worship.”It said now that the elections have been successfully held, the Secretary-General “appeals to Iraqis of all faiths, ethnic backgrounds and political persuasions to come together in a spirit of dialogue and national reconciliation to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Iraq.”The statement also pledged the United Nations continued support of the Iraqi people “to help them succeed in this critical period of their history.”Also today, Mr. Annan received a briefing at UN Headquarters in New York from United States Ambassador to Iraq John D. Negroponte on the situation following the 30 January elections. Mr. Negroponte commended the work of the UN, including Mr. Annan’s Special Representative Ashraf Qazi and in particular the UN electoral assistance team, which provided technical and advisory aid to the Iraqi authorities.Mr. Annan stressed that if requested the UN could assist with the constitutional process and in political outreach, especially towards those segments of Iraqi society that did not participate in the elections for the new constituent assembly. Turnout by Sunni Arabs, about 20 per cent of the population, was very low.

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