In his opening speech, Maliki said all those with a stake in peace of the Middle East should stand firm against terrorism in Iraq. “We call on all to take moral responsibility by adopting a strong and clear stance against terrorism in Iraq and cooperate in stamping out forces of terror,” Maliki said. “Confronting terrorism means halting any form of financial support and media or religious backing, as well as logistical support and the flow of arms and men who transform themselves into bombs that kill our children, women and elders, and destroy our mosques and churches,” he added.
…(US Ambassador) Khalilzad urged Iraq’s neighbours to do more to stop the flow of fighters, weapons and sectarian propaganda contributing to the violence, saying the future of Iraq and the Middle East was the defining issue of the moment. -20-
MEANWHILE IN SADR CITY ……….Al-Melaf cites a senior security official that said U.S. troops are in the process of building one of the largest military bases in Baghdad in the middle of Sadr City, the Mahdi Army’s stronghold. The source said that U.S. military officers met with city elders who overwhelmingly approved the U.S. decision, which they said would largely improve security in their district. According to the website, construction of the base will start soon and will employ a large number of the city’s impoverished youth.