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Iraqi FM says elections become imperative
www.chinaview.cn 2005-01-16 21:59:20

   CAIRO, Jan. 16 (Xinhuanet) -- Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiar al-Zibari has stressed that holding the Iraqi elections on Jan. 30 has reached a point of no return, Egypt's Arabic-language daily al-Ahram reported on Sunday.

   Zibari said in an interview with the daily that any change of the election date would mean Iraq and democracy have given in to terrorist acts.

   In the past, the Iraqi people suffered from isolation but now they will never accept to be marginalized, the minister said.

   "Elections are not the magic wand which could solve all Iraqi problems, but they are the point from which we can start to have all foreign troops withdraw and then practise self-determination," he said.

   He welcomed the Arab League to take the responsibility of monitoring the elections.

   The interim Iraqi government has contacted opposition parties in an effort to have all Iraqis take part in the political process, he said.

   "We repeat time and again that any meeting to reach national reconciliation must be held in Iraq and anyone wanting to give a hand must take his moves toward these directions," he said.

   He expressed optimism at good participation in the elections, which he said could gain credibility.

   The top Iraqi diplomat participated in an extraordinary meeting of Arab foreign ministers, which was held in Cairo on Thursday.

   The Iraqi elections would be held on Jan. 30 for an interim 275-seat national assembly. 

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