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Iraqi President Urges Neighbors To Stop Border Infiltration

Jalal Talabani (file photo) (epa) September 22, 2006 -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani today urged Iraq's neighbors to prevent cross-border infiltrations by militants.

Talabani told the UN General Assembly that Iraqis are losing their patience with the amount of death and destruction in their country.

He said terrorist operations are aimed at ruining efforts to rebuild the country and placing it "on the path of peace, security and democracy."

Talabani also said that his government will not talk about a timetable for withdrawing U.S.-led forces until Iraqi forces are capable of ensuring stability and security in the country themselves.

"The process of building the national Iraqi armed forces up to the [country's] ambitions is continuing with great perseverance so that our forces have the necessary capacity and ability to gradually end the presence of multinational forces in the country," he said. "Those [multinational] forces are there according to an international decision and are important for us in the present circumstances until we finish building our armed forces that are capable of ending terrorism and protecting peace and stability. Only then can we talk about a timetable for withdrawing the multinational forces from Iraq."

Talabani's remarks come a day after officials from Iraq, Egypt, Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey met on the sidelines of the General Assembly to discuss the security situation in Iraq and its affect on regional stability.