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French President makes solemn declaration on Iraqi bombings

PARIS, July 24 (KUNA) -- In a highly-significant gesture, French President Francois Hollande has made a solemn declaration on behalf of France to condemn the latest surge in violence in Iraq and urge unity to fight violence and terrorism.
Hollande said late Monday that "in the name of France," he condemns with the greatest censure the series of attacks that hit 14 Iraqi towns and cities and killed at least 91 people and wounded 160 others.
It was the worst series of bombings in Iraq in two years.
"I address my condolences to the Iraqi people and to the families of the victims and I express the solidarity of France with the Iraqi authorities in their fight against terrorism," Hollande stated.
"In this tragic context, France recalls that it is essential that the Iraqi leaders join their efforts to respond to the challenge of violence and the attacks against the Iraqi population," he added.
The French leader said that his country would stand by Iraq and fully support its efforts to enhance stability and security.
Hollande's statement underlines the critical importance of the situation in Iraq, which has deteriorated in recent months. Reactions to the situation in Iraq are usually treated at a lower level in government, but the extent of the carnage on Monday and the huge death toll incited French response at the highest level.(end) jk.nfm KUNA 241122 Jul 12NNNN