Mubarak tells Bush of Iraq worries

Egyptian President Husni Mubarak has told George Bush that he is deeply concerned about the crisis in Iraq.

    George Bush says the situation in Iraq has improved

    "On Iraq, I conveyed to the president our serious concerns about the current state of affairs, particularly in the security and the humanitarian areas," Mubarak said after talks at the US president's ranch in Texas.

    "I further stressed the importance of restoring Iraq's sovereignty as soon as possible within a context that preserves its territorial integrity and unites all Iraqis toward a common future," Mubarak said on Monday.

    The Egyptian leader, who skipped what was traditionally an annual trip to the United States last year to protest against the war in Iraq, said efforts to expand the UN role in Iraq "is an important step that should be further encouraged". 

    Bush insisted that the US-led occupation "will transfer
    sovereignty", though he did not mention the 30 June target date for that handover, and said that a top UN official was working with Iraqis in Baghdad "to help devise the system through which we transfer sovereignty". 

    Downplay

    He also downplayed the impact of recent deadly violence in Iraq on efforts to shift the country to self-rule, saying the insurgents were a tiny minority in a population largely eager for the US-backed power-transfer plan to come through. 

    "The situation in Iraq has improved," he said. "But you're right, it was a tough week because there was lawlessness and gangs that were trying to take the law in their own hands." 

    "I strongly believe that by far the vast majority of Iraqis want
    there to be a peaceful country and a free country," he said. 

    "We just can't let a few people and I say a few - listen,
    there was enough to cause harm, but a few relative to the rest of the people. You just can't let a small percentage of the Iraqi people decide the fate of everybody and that's what you're seeing."

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    The shocking story of Israel's disappeared babies

    New information has come to light about thousands of mostly Yemeni children believed to have been abducted in the 1950s.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.