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Fend for yourselves: US to workers in Iraq
August 05, 2004 09:46 IST
With efforts to secure release of three abducted Indians in Iraq still on, the US has said it cannot guarantee the safety of Indian and other South Asian workers against terrorists attack in the troubled nation.
"We can't promise protection to every worker that goes there. We all know that. That is the nature of the circumstances. It is a dangerous place. There are dangers and there are attacks on a variety of different targets in addition to coalition forces," US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher said in Washington on Wednesday.
His reply comes following a question about the workers from countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others who are in Iraq though their countries are not part of the US-led coalition.
"There is a lot we can do generally to create a more secure environment working with the Iraqi Government. But, no, we can't promise protection for every worker."
"Increasingly, (there are) attacks on Iraqis who are trying to reconstruct their country, and we cannot offer protecton for every single Iraqi," he said.
"At the same time," Boucher said, "we can do a lot to try to create a more secure environment, working with Iraqis, training them up, helping them provide security for their country the way they wish to, as well as the activities that we have against the groups that might be trying out attacks or the sources of the weapons or the infiltration or things like that."
He also said that the coalition troops will not yield to the demands of the Iraqi abductors.
"As members of the Multinational Force in Iraq operating under UN Security Council Resolution 1546, we are united in our resolve to make no concessions to terrorists nor succumb to terrorist threats," he said.
Strongly condemning the kidnapping and murder of innocent civilians, the statement said the member nations share the suffering of the families and sacrifices of those governments whose citizens have been kidnapped.
"We are committed to making sure that the perpetrators of terrorist acts against our citizens and soldiers are brought to justice," Boucher said.
"We understand that conceding to terrorists' will only endanger all members of the Multinational Force, as well as other countries contributing to Iraqi reconstruction and humanitarian assistance," a statement said.
"Our resolve to achieve these objectives will not be shaken. We remain committed to enabling the Iraqi people to attain their aspirations for a new future," he added.