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Iraq calls on Arab states to cut ties with Israel

Iraq's PM called on all Arab and Muslim countries to cut their ties with Israel, calling the Israeli military attacks on Gaza "a dreadful crime", according to a press statement.
By HT Correspondent | DPA, Baghdad
UPDATED ON JAN 07, 2009 09:56 PM IST

Iraq's Prime Minister on Wednesday called on all Arab and Muslim countries to cut their ties with Israel, calling the Israeli military attacks on Gaza "a dreadful crime", according to a press statement.

Nouri al-Maliki said that "we ask Arab countries and all Muslims to cancel their diplomatic relations and stop all contacts - private and public - with this murderous regime, which continues its painful aggression against peaceful, unarmed civilians".

"There are disputes worldwide, but to reach this degree of crime, which kills children and women is unacceptable. The international silence is very disturbing to us, we hope the international community and the Security Council would take fast decisions, clear and explicit to stop the massacres against the Palestinian people," he added.

The Premier's statements came a day after Israeli attacks on three schools run by the UN in the Gaza Strip, including one that killed more than 46 civilians.

Since Israel began operations on Gaza more than 10 days ago some 680 Palestinians have been killed.

Iraq, where a US-led invasion overthrew former President Saddam Hussein in 2003, has no diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Jordan and Egypt are the only two Arab states to sign peace deals with Israel. Both came under strong Arab pressure to do more to prevent Israeli attacks on Gaza.

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