WASHINGTON, Oct 31 (KUNA) -- President Barack Obama and Iraqi Prime
Minister Nouri al-Maliki will discuss the U.S.-Iraq Strategic Framework
Agreement (SFA) and coordination on a range of regional priorities during
their meeting tomorrow, White House press secretary Jay Carney said on
The United States "condemns in the strongest possible terms the recent
terrorist attacks across Iraq," Carney said during a briefing.
"We are deeply concerned about the nature of these attacks and the
increased levels of violence in Iraq in recent months. These attacks are
disturbing and are a constant reminder of the formidable challenges Iraq
continues to face on the security front," he pointed out.
The violence is coming from al-Qaeda and its affiliates as they try to
provoke cycles of sectarian reprisals, "but we are confident they will not
succeed," Carney said.
"We have seen them try this repeatedly in Iraq, and for a period there,
they succeeded. But we believe they will not succeed in this new effort.
"The vast majority of the Iraqi people continue to reject this violence and
call for political dialogue to resolve tensions," he went on.
Obama will raise his concerns with Maliki about the violence in Iraq and
the need to take peaceful steps to reduce that violence, "and inclusive
democratic governance is a key piece of the picture there and always has been,
" Carney said.
Responding to calls by some in Congress to limit U.S. military assistance
to Iraq, Carney said "targeted foreign assistance to Iraq remains an essential
piece of our engagement, and it helps cement the United States' enduring
partnership with Iraq during this important period of transition."
U.S. security assistance and foreign military sales are key tools for
building and shaping Iraq's defense capabilities and integrating Iraqi
security forces into the region, anchored by U.S. materiel and training, he
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