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Iraq''s foreign minister urges neighbors to stop infiltrators - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD,(AP)- Iraq”s foreign minister complained on Thursday that some neighboring countries are not cooperating to stop foreign religious extremists from crossing into Iraq and said border tensions with Kuwait should be solved through dialogue.

In a joint news conference, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari and the new U.S. ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, strongly condemned the killing of two Algerian diplomats who were kidnapped last week in Baghdad by al-Qaida”s wing in Iraq. The group said in a statement on Wednesday that it had killed the diplomats.

Khalilzad also expressed his country”s strong support for Iraq as it works to complete a new constitution by August 15.

&#34A very important change is taking place in this country and Iraq will succeed&#34, Khalilzad said. &#34The United States has an unshakable commitment to Iraq”s success&#34.

Zebari said Iraq believes that unspecified &#34neighboring countries&#34 were not cooperating to control their border and prevent infiltrators from entering Iraq &#34Iraq”s security is part of the security of these countries&#34, Zebari said.

Zebari”s remarks were made one day after U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld urged the Iraqis to be more aggressive in complaining to their neighbors about infiltration by foreign fighters.

&#34They need to be aggressively communicating with their neighbors to see that foreign terrorists stop coming across those borders and that their neighbors do not harbor insurgents and finance insurgents&#34, Rumsfeld said in an in-flight interview with reporters accompanying him from Tajikistan to Iraq.

Khalilzad told reporters he had discussed the issue with Zebari, adding he believed a new constitution &#34will help Iraq”s success&#34 in dealing with its neighbors.

Zebari assured Kuwait that Baghdad wants a peaceful resolution of tensions which emerged after some Iraqis fired shots across the border on Tuesday to protest a metal barrier which the Kuwaitis are erecting the frontier.

&#34We don”t want to attack anyone and we don”t want anyone to attack us&#34, Zebari said. &#34The page of war has been turned forever and this subject should be solved through constructive dialogue&#34. He was referring to Iraq”s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

U.S.-led forces drove the Iraqis from the emirate the following year. Khalilzad said he told Zebari that the U.S. is ready to help the two countries improve their relations.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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