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Rice 05-01

Rice: Making progress

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice claimed "considerable progress" in the global fight against terrorism as she prepared to ask skeptical Arab governments to do more and to underwrite democracy in Iraq.

"There’s been some real progress on some fronts and in other places the terrorists have continued to challenge democratic governments," Rice said when asked about a State Department report showing terrorist attacks worldwide shot up more than 25 percent last year.

The report said terrorists killed 40 percent more people in 2006 than in 2005, particularly in Iraq where extremists used chemical weapons and suicide bombers to target crowds.

The grim findings on violence in Iraq are expected to underscore the difficulty for Rice as she heads to Egypt for meetings later this week with Iraq’s Arab and Iranian neighbors and outside backers.

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The challenge for Iraq’s Western backers is to convince neighboring states that they have more to lose from a failed Iraq than they risk by engaging now.

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