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Iraq Appeals For More, Quicker Aid

13 October 2004 -- Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Barham Ahmad Salih has told an international aid donor's conference that his country urgently needs more help from the world community.

Salih said at the conference in Tokyo today that development and stability of Iraq cannot be driven forward through gun barrels. He said assistance and aid in the short term is "the key to destroying the causes of terrorism."

He also appealed for debt relief, and for a bigger role for the United Nations.

In separate comments to Reuters, Salih said the security difficulties should not be over-dramatized.

"We are not underestimating the security challenge that our government and the people of Iraq are facing, but at the same time, the images of calamity and carnage that you see on television screens do not reflect the reality of Iraq," Salih said.

Donor nations have pledged some $14 billion, but only a few hundred million dollars of that amount has been spent, primarily because of continued violence and security concerns.