Russia urges Iraq's political, religious leaders to end violence
(RIA Novosti) - Russia's Foreign Ministry on Thursday called on Iraq's political and religious leaders to step up efforts to end violence in the country.
Violence has continued unabated in Iraq in the five years since the formal end of the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Over 100 people have been killed in the past three weeks in a series of bomb and mortar attacks throughout the country. The death toll among U.S. troops now stands at 4,000.
"We are urging political and religious leaders in Iraq to do their utmost to end this fratricidal conflict, creating the necessary conditions for building a democratic and prosperous state," Mikhail Kamynin said.
"Moscow is convinced that a path to settling the crisis in Iraq lies through comprehensive dialogue, the search for compromise, and the achievement of real national conciliation and accord between all ethnic and religious communities in the country," he said.