DAMASCUS, Syria – Iraq's interim prime minister Saturday urged Egypt not to bow to demands of the kidnappers who snatched an Egyptian diplomat as he was leaving a mosque in Baghdad (search).
Insurgents who kidnapped diplomat Mohammed Mamdouh Helmi Qutb (search) early Friday demanded Egypt abandon plans to send security experts to support Iraq's new government.
"It is time for us to close ranks to fight terrorism. There is no way to budge to terrorists and give them what they want," Prime Minister Iyad Allawi (search) told a news conference in Damascus after he met with Syrian leaders.
"The only way to deal with terrorism is to promote justice and to close ranks, and we hope Egypt and the Egyptian government will act accordingly," he said.
Allawi said the Iraqi government will do "its best" to secure the envoy's release.
Qutb was believed to be the first foreign diplomat kidnapped in Iraq.