Iraq on Thursday makes a push for international help to end devastating violence that has killed tens of thousands of people since the US-led invasion in 2003.
Iraq's neighbors and members of the international community are meeting in this Egyptian seaside resort town to shore up the Iraqi government with financial and diplomatic support, help political reconciliation, boost reconstruction efforts and end the violence.
Congressional leaders from both parties predicted quick approval of emergency funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan on Wednesday, after the House fell 62 votes short of overriding President Bush's veto of a bill setting a deadline for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.
Pulling U.S. forces from Iraq could trigger catastrophe, CNN analysts and other observers warn, affecting not just Iraq but its neighbors in the Middle East, with far-reaching global implications.
Iraq's neighbors could ultimately determine whether Iraq becomes a model of stability or an epicenter of chaos in the Middle East, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned as diplomats arrived for a summit here.
For the first time since the U.S. invasion in 2003, a high-level advisory panel has placed Iraq on a watch list of countries that violate religious freedom, saying the government there engages in extrajudicial killings based on religious identity.
The inspector general who uncovered cases of waste, fraud and abuse in the U.S.-led reconstruction effort in Iraq is under investigation by a presidential panel, according to the White House.
Reconstruction efforts in Iraq are largely doomed to failure, the former chairman of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq said Tuesday.
Democrats in Congress are plotting a new round of political attrition over Iraq, apparently confident their hand will strengthen the longer their clash drags on with President George W. Bush.
Congressional Democrats must find a way to bridge divergent views in their second try at writing the Iraq spending legislation.