A joint military operation by U.S. and Iraqi forces has killed terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced Zarqawi's death at a news conference today (Thursday), together with the U.S. military commander in Iraq, General George Casey, and U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. The prime minister says seven of Zarqawi's associates died with him in a "safe house" near Baquba, northeast of the capital.
Iraq Reaction: President Bush says U.S. forces have delivered justice to the most
wanted terrorist in Iraq -- Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. Mr. Bush said at the White House that Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al-Qaida. However, Mr. Bush warned that the terrorists will try to continue without Zarqawi, and he vowed that the United States will continue to support Iraq's new government.
Iran Nuclear: he United States says Iran must suspend its uranium-enrichment work if it accepts an international package of incentives and returns to multilateral nuclear talks. A State Department spokesman (Sean McCormack) said (Wednesday) the suspension is a "firm condition" of the incentives package offered by the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China ( -- the five permanent U.N. Security Council members -- ) and Germany.
Japan Royal-Asia: Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko have begun a
week-long tour of three Southeast Asian nations. The royal couple will first travel to Singapore to mark the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. They will then travel to Malaysia before heading to Thailand to participate in celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of King Bhumibol Adulyadej's reign.
China-US-Military: The United States and China have held high-level talks in Beijing on improving military ties. China's official Xinhua news agency says U.S. official Peter Rodman (the U.S. assistant secretary for defense for international security affairs), was holding the talks with Zhang Qinsheng, the assistant chief of the General Staff of the People's Liberation Army. Xinhua quoted Rodman as saying that the one-day meeting is important for interactions between the two defense ministries.
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