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Al-Maliki warns of 'disastrous consequences'
UNITED NATIONS -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki warned the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday that the continued flow of weapons, suicide bombers and terrorism funding into his country would result in "disastrous consequences" for the region and the world.
Al-Maliki, who met with President Bush on Tuesday, urged the international community and countries in the region to support Iraq's national reconciliation process to rid terrorism from the country and bring peace to the region.
"National reconciliation is stronger than the weapons of terrorism," he said. "Today we feel optimistic that countries of the region realize the danger of the terrorist attacks against Iraq, that it is not in their interest for Iraq to be weak."
Al-Maliki said his country had reduced sectarian killings and brought stability to some regions, such as Anbar province in the west. He said thousands of displaced families have been able to return to their homes.
He said Iraq also has hundreds of political parties active within 20 political alliances; more than 6,000 civil organizations; hundreds of newspapers and magazines and 40 local and satellite TV stations. But terrorists are targeting this "new Iraq," he said.
"Terrorism kills civilians, journalists, actors, thinkers and professionals. It attacks universities, marketplaces and libraries. It blows up mosques and churches and destroys the infrastructure of state institutions," al-Maliki said.
Al-Maliki said he has warned the countries in the region that "the continued overflow of weapons, money, suicide bombers and the spreading of 'fatwas' inciting hatred and murder will only result in disastrous consequences for peoples of the region and the world."
Washington has long accused Iran of aiding Shiite Muslim militias in Iraq that it says have killed hundreds of American troops with powerful bombs known as explosively formed penetrators, or EFPs.
Iran disputes those allegations.