The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:
The Secretary-General has learned with great sadness of the brutal murder of Ihab al-Sherif, the chargé d'affaires of the Arab Republic of Egypt to Iraq, who was kidnapped on Saturday. He expresses his deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of Mr. al-Sherif as well as to the Government and people of the Arab Republic of Egypt.
The Secretary-General condemns in the strongest terms those who planned and executed this callous act, which no cause can justify. He hopes that the Iraqi authorities will do everything possible to apprehend those responsible and to bring them to justice.
Such acts perpetrated by a few will not deter the commitment and resolve of the United Nations and the international community to help the Iraqi people in their transition towards a peaceful, democratic and prosperous Iraq.