Iraqi Archbishop says al-Zarqawi death brings hope

The Patriarch of the Caldean Catholic Church in Iraq says Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's death brings hope for Iraq's future but warns that the "best solution" to the current problem is not through violence but dialogue.

Catholic News Agency reports that the death of the 39-year-old Jordanian born leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, killed yesterday in a US airstrike, was confirmed by US and Iraqi officials.

Officials of both governments were overjoyed at killing the most wanted man in Iraq, who they alleged was the mastermind of several terrorist attacks and multiple violent murders in Iraq.

Archbishop Emmanuel III Delly said that while killing al-Zarqawi's has dealt a blow to terrorism, the threat of terror still exists in a very real way in Iraq and abroad and said he hope new ways are found to bring peace in his country.

"This is a great hope for the end of violence which torments," the Archbishop said, "but we repeat that the best solution is always in dialogue and not in killing. Killing each other for personal reasons can not bring anything good ... loving each other and not killing - this is the way to keep in mind."

But Al-Qaeda is not heeding the Archibishop's call. Al-Qaeda in Iraq confirmed the death of its leader and vowed it will continue its "holy war" in a statement posted on the web on Thursday.

"We want to give you the joyous news of the martyrdom of the mujahed sheik Abu Musab al-Zarqawi," said the statement, signed by "Abu Abdel- Rahman al-Iraqi," identified as the deputy "emir" or leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"The death of our leaders is life for us. It will only increase our persistence in continuing holy war so that the word of God will be supreme," it said.

US Ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said the demise of al-Zarqawi's would not end the violence in Iraq, but it is "an important step in the right direction" CNN reported.

Iraqi Archbishop says al-Zarqawi death brings hope (Catholic News Agency 8/6/06)

Pope supports Iraqi bishops' call for fasting, prayer for peace (CathNews 4/4/06)
Pope, Egyptian president discuss Iraq, Iran (CathNews 15/3/06)
Iraq peace activists mourns Tom Fox's death (CathNews 13/3/06)

Patriarch Delly sees ray of hope in al-Zarqawi's demise and in appointment of last Iraqi ministers (AsiaNews.it 8/6/06)

9 Jun 2006