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British voice joins chorus concerned by Iraq

Jan. 16, 2014 at 12:39 PM

LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- The British government lent its voice to the chorus of those calling on Iraq to work to establish an inclusive political system for the sake of stability.

"The United Kingdom supports the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people in their efforts to combat terrorism, and bring the perpetrators to justice," British Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Hugh Robertson said in a statement Thursday. "I continue to call on all political, religious and community leaders in Iraq to work together to combat the threat from terrorism through an inclusive political process in order to build a more stable and prosperous Iraq."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made similar statements during his visit to Baghdad early this week.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, is struggling to contain a resurgence of al-Qaida in western Anbar province. The rise of al-Qaida there followed demonstrations by Sunni communities concerned Maliki was sidelining them.

Maliki is seeking a third term in office during April elections.

Robertson added he condemned at attack on a funeral procession in eastern Diyala province Wednesday, which left more than a dozen people dead.

"Terrorism and extremism have no place in Iraq," he said.

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