Rice condemns terror attacks in Iraq

The US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice has condemned the recent spate of attacks in Iraq, saying it demonstrates the "depravity" of the terrorists while reinforcing more than ever the need for the international community to "stay the course in advancing a free, democratic Iraq".

At a press conference yesterday, Ms Rice told foreign journalists that the attacks, particularly those against Red Cross and United Nations workers, exposed the terrorists as "brutal killers", many of whom had maimed, raped and tortured Iraqi citizens under Saddam Hussein.

While the terrorists' goal, Ms Rice said, was to sow fear and chaos, it made the United States and its allies all the more determined to create peaceful conditions in the country.

"President Bush has made clear the danger of allowing these difficulties to undo the tremendous progress that has been made so far," Ms Rice said.

She emphasized the importance of continued commitment to the president's three fundamental objectives in Iraq - "to improve security by aggressively hunting down those attempting to undermine progress in Iraq; to work with the international community and the Iraqi people to rebuild Iraq; and to accelerate the orderly transfer of sovereignty and authority to the Iraqi people".

She added: "The world has a responsibility and historic opportunity to help the Iraqi people build a just and decent and modern and democratic state in the heart of the Middle East.

"We are determined to meet our responsibilities and to seize that opportunity."

Another major step forward, Ms Rice said, was last week's events in Madrid, where 73 countries and 20 international groups pledged more than $33 billion in aid for Iraq.


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