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Algerians' murder in Iraq makes anti-terror treaty more urgent than ever - Annan

27 July 2005 Secretary-General Kofi Annan said to day the “brutal and barbaric” murder of two Algerian diplomats in Iraq once again made it all the more urgent for the United Nations to complete a convention against all forms of terrorism by the end of this year.

“It is a barbaric act to kill innocent civilians, innocent diplomats who are there to help the Iraqi people and those responsible should be brought to account,” Mr. Annan said in an encounter with journalist at UN Headquarters in New York.

“As I have said earlier, these kinds of barbaric acts really should press us to define terrorism and to come up with the 13th convention – the comprehensive convention,” he added, referring to efforts in the General Assembly to draft a new treaty outlawing terrorism that have stalled over the definition of a terrorist.

“It is extremely important that we get both done as quickly as possible and definitely by the end of the year, if not by September.”

Just two days ago Mr. Annan told reporters that the recent terrorist bombings in London and Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt afforded one more reason to press ahead and get a good definition of terrorism that all can live with.

“As I said, it’s not Islamic; it’s not whatever,” he said then. “We know them for what they are. And a simple, clear statement, bringing in moral clarity, that maiming and killing of civilians is unacceptable regardless of one’s cause, I think, will satisfy all of us.”

Today he called for every effort to be made to bring the diplomats’ killers to justice. “This is not serving any cause or their cause,” he said. “The people of Iraq have suffered enough. They would want to get on with their lives. And they need the support of the region and the international community to get on. And we must all condemn utterly this brutal and barbaric act.”

Condemning the assassination "in the strongest possible terms," the Security Council, in a statement read out during a formal meeting by its President for the month, Greek Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis, emphasized that there could be no justification for such terrorist acts and underlined the need to bring these perpetrators to justice.

The Security Council also reaffirmed Iraq's independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity and called upon the international community to stand by the Iraqi people in their pursuit of peace stability and democracy.

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