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Iraqi insurgency groups declare intention to drop arms -- president

Iraqi insurgency groups declare intention to drop arms -- president BAGHDAD, March 31 (KUNA) -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani affirmed on Saturday that the leadership was holding continuous contacts with armed groups in a bid to persuade them join the national conciliation political process and renounce usage of arms.
Talabani, speaking at a ceremony marking credentials-delivery of the newly-named American Ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker, and the new Japanese ambassador, affirmed that some of the armed groups expressed desire to join the process of normalization in the country.
"Some organizations that consider themselves as part of the national resistance have contacted us and expressed readiness to drop the arms and join the political process and we have welcomed them," Talabani said.
He praised resolutions of the recently-held Arab summit concerning Iraq, namely the decisions that denounce terrorism, call for setting debts and backing the national conciliation process.
The Arab summit, concerning Iraq, was successfull and all Iraqi proposals and demands were me -- unanimously, the president said.
On status of the (Shiite) Mahdi militia, Talabani said that he assured Crocker that the group was no longer significantly effective and that the top leadership has recently received no new complaints about activities of this militia from local Sunni quarters.
The government is bent on clamping down on terrorism and cooperating with the Multi-National Forces, he said.
He praised stand of Sunni tribes, namely Al-Zuwbaa' tribe, in confronting armed terrorists and elements of Al-Qaeda organization, west of the Iraqi capital.
Armed Sunni tribes have engaged in fierce clashes and fighting with Al-Qaeda followers in the region. (end) mhg.rk KUNA 311615 Mar 07NNNN