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G8 foreign ministers condemn murder of Russian diplomats in Iraq

MOSCOW, June 29 (RIA Novosti) - Foreign ministers of the Group of Eight industrialized nations condemned Thursday the murder of Russian diplomats in Iraq earlier in the month and called for the killers to be punished.

The foreign ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States gathered in Moscow Thursday in the run-up to a G8 summit in St. Petersburg on July 15-17. Russia will be hosing the annual summit as the G8 president this year.

The foreign ministers condemned in a statement the brutal murders by an al-Qaeda linked group of five Russian officials from the embassy in Iraq earlier this month and demanded that the culprits of this crime be caught and punished.

This tragedy confirms the need to take urgent measures to ensure overall security in Iraq, the document said.

The G8 ministers also declared support for Iraq's permanent government, hailed its reconciliation initiative and urged the government to continue moving toward national accord.

The ministers said they called on the international community, above all the UN, international financial institutions, countries neighboring on Iraq and regional governments to help the new Iraqi government and people at this new stage of the country's development, including in accordance with Iraq International Conference Statement adopted on June 22, 2005 by more than 80 nations who declared their resolution to back Iraq's political transition process.

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