International reactions to the announcement by US President George Bush that the US is preparing to send more troops in Iraq.
UK FOREIGN SECRETARY MARGARET BECKETT
The announcement that President Bush has made and the agreement and backup from the Iraqi government and Prime Minister Maliki shows that both are determined to try to come to grips with what is unquestionably a difficult situation in, particularly in Baghdad.
We welcome that and we hope that the joint effort to resolve this very difficult security situation which is undermining efforts to put other things right in Iraq will indeed succeed.
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER JOHN HOWARD
The government supports the new approach outlined by President Bush. It was a very clear, calm and, above all, a realistic speech, but he didn't underestimate the challenge.
He admitted some mistakes have been made and made it very clear what is at stake. An American or Western defeat in Iraq would give an unbelievable boost to terrorism.
JAPANESE FOREIGN MINISTER TARO ASO
The Japanese government praises this announcement as additional
efforts by the US government to stabilise Iraq.
CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN LIU JIANCHAO
The peace and stability of Iraq depends on the Iraqi people governing Iraq and national reconciliation.
The democratic, peaceful, and economic development of Iraq is the final way out. We hope Iraq can realise stability at an early date and that the people of Iraq can live peaceful and stable lives.
GEORGE JABOOR, SYRIAN MP
The American president is following a plan which has already failed. Why is he following through a failed plan? It's a plan of confrontation, challenge, accusations against this or that party that is against his Iraq policy.
He is doing this in fact because he knows he has failed. As the president of the world's most powerful country, he feels he cannot admit failure. What is needed is for Bush to be humble and see the reality on the ground.
JAMES CARAFANO OF THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND ONE OF THE MILITARY ADVISERS TO THE IRAQ STUDY GROUP
People say 20,000 troops aren't enough to secure Baghdad, that is absolutely true; on the other hand what I heard articulated was that 20,000 troops that are really being used to bolster the Iraqis and hopefully are going to free up a lot more troops to embed with the Iraqi forces and work on training and reforming the police force - that's a good thing; will it work?
One of the weaknesses in the president's speech is there really wasn't much discussed of risk; this is a very risky strategy because it is really predicated on not what the US troops do, but on what the Iraqis do.
US SENATOR NORM COLEMAN, REPUBLICAN
I don't want to embarrass the president, but my position is clear. I do not believe that a surge in troops is going to solve the fundamental problem we have.
JOINT STATEMENT FROM HARRY REID, US SENATE MAJORITY LEADER, AND NANCY PELOSI, HOUSE SPEAKER
Escalating our military involvement in Iraq sends precisely the wrong message and we oppose it.
IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN MOHAMMAD ALI HOSSEINI
At the start of the new year, Bush's decision to increase the US troops is an inappropriate gift for the Americans.
Increasing the number of US troops will boost insecurity and tension in Iraq and will not help ease Iraq's problems.
GERMAN FOREIGN OFFICE COORDINATOR FOR GERMAN-AMERICAN CO-OPERATION KARSTEN VOIGT
There is a certain scepticism in the United States and we naturally share that here in Germany. The US president has often proved in the past to be too optimistic.
But of course we and other countries which did not take part in the war hope the president is successful.
RUSSIAN SENIOR DEFENCE MINISTRY OFFICIAL VLADIMIR
(Additional troops) will not be able to radically change the situation with ensuring peace and security in this country.
Without firm authority in the provinces, it's not possible to establish law and order in the country.
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER PHILIPPE DOUSTE-BLAZY
It is through a comprehensive approach, through a political strategy, that Iraq and the whole region will
regain their stability.
SWEDISH FOREIGN MINISTER CARL BILDT
(The speech) was significantly lighter on the major political challenges (in Iraq).
They were mentioned only in passing or hardly at all. This is a more limited initiative than what I think was required.
AIDE TO IRAQI PRIME MINISTER BASEM RIDHA
We do not have to wait for Bush to tell us to perform. We have been doing our best. There is hope in