Rice Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq


5-15-05- Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says militants can be beaten in Iraq -- not just by force, but by democracy. Rice is making a one-day visit to Iraq. It's her first trip there since succeeding Colin Powell.

Traveling under tight security, she discussed the "very violent" insurgency. But she said militants can be defeated by showing them "a political alternative."

She also met with Iraq's top leaders, saying they must "intensify their efforts" to demonstrate that the political process is "the answer for the Iraqi people." Rice also pledged US support to Iraq's leaders. The country'sconstitution -- due in mid-August -- is the next critical test for
the government.

Meanwhile, Rice says the US and the European Union will sponsor
a conference next month to attract more international aid for Iraq.


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