SECRETARY-GENERAL EXTREMELY CONCERNED BY WIDESPREAD FIGHTING
, OFFERS UN HELP IN CURRENT CRISIS IRAQ
The following statement was issued Saturday, 7 August, by the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General is extremely concerned at the widespread fighting that has broken out in
over the last several days, especially in the holy city of Iraq .† He is particularly troubled by the high toll of dead and wounded, including civilian casualties. Najaf
The Secretary-General believes that, in such a situation, force should be a last resort.† He calls for every effort to be made, even at this late hour, to work out a ceasefire and peaceful solution.
The United Nations is helping with the preparations for the National Conference, due to begin in mid-August.† In the Secretary-Generalís view, the Conference can be an important step in a peaceful and inclusive political transition, by promoting national reconciliation and dialogue.† The United Nations is ready to extend its facilitating role to the current crisis, if this would be helpful.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Allawiís offer today of a limited amnesty and wider participation in the political process are steps in the right direction.
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