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Opening Speeches of Annual UN Session Continue


Leaders from Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Japan and Vietnam will address the United Nations General Assembly Thursday at the world body's New York headquarters.

On Wednesday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the assembly his country is committed to stamping out terrorism so that it does not spread to other nations.

Mr. Maliki warned that the continued flow of weapons, money, suicide bombers and the spreading of fatwas (religious edicts) that incite hatred and murder will only result in disastrous consequences for the region and the world.

But he insisted Iraq has had success in combating al-Qaida in Iraq's western Anbar province, and now has a multi-party system, free speech, free elections and democratic institutions.

Also on Wednesday, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque harshly criticized the United States and President Bush for policies the foreign minister said threaten and impoverish people around the world. The U.S. delegation was not in the assembly hall as Perez Roque delivered his speech. Mr. Bush said Tuesday the long rule of a cruel dictator is nearing its end and that the Cuban people are ready for their freedom.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe also devoted a large portion of his speech to denouncing the U.S. and its foreign policy. He criticized the U.S. and Britain for calling for regime change in the African country.

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