President Mbeki Extends Condolences to Iraq following Stampede
Tshwane- President Thabo Mbeki today, Wednesday 31 August 2005,
extended South Africa's sympathies to President of the Transitional National Authority
of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, following the deaths of over 600 pilgrims at the Shiite
shrine in Baghdad today.
"The South African Government joins the international
community in expressing shock and sadness at the deaths of over 600 pilgrims at
the Shiite shrine in Baghdad earlier today.
"During these difficult
moment, the thoughts and prayers of the government and people of South Africa
reach out to the people of Iraq and in particular families of those who lost their
loved ones, while wishing those wounded a speedy recovery.
indeed regrettable that so many pilgrims lost their lives while partaking in the
peaceful act of worship. We express our conviction that all people have an inalienable
right to worship without fear or favour.
"Accordingly, the South African
Government extends its heartfelt condolences to the Iraqi Transitional National
Authority and specifically members of the bereaved families during this hour of
need", concluded President Mbeki.
Issued by Ronnie
Mamoepa at 082-990-4853
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X152