The Secretary-General is alarmed by the deterioration of the security situation in Iraq. He condemns in the strongest terms the acts of terrorism and the heightened sectarian violence, which are aimed at ripping apart the country's social fabric. The reported killing today of at least 50 people in a wave of car bombings in predominantly Shiite areas is just the latest occurrence of the kind of heinous violence which is becoming all too commonplace. The Secretary-General extends his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and the Government of Iraq and wishes the wounded a speedy recovery. He urges the Iraqi authorities to bring the perpetrators of these attacks to justice.
Iraq is at another crossroads. Its political leaders have a clear responsibility to bring the country back from the brink, and to leave no space to those who seek to exploit the political stalemate through violence and terror. The Secretary-General urges Iraqi political leaders to address the legitimate grievances of all Iraqi communities by entering into a serious dialogue with a spirit of compromise, and by passing overdue legislation without further delay. The United Nations stands ready to assist the Government and people of Iraq in overcoming the crisis.