Foreign ministers of the seven states in the neighborhood of Iraq ended their deliberations in Damascus late Sunday on the Iraq situation after issuing an eight-point statement, IRNA reported.
Foreign ministers of Syria, Farouk as-Shara, Iran Kamal Kharrazi, Saudi Arabia Saud al-Feisal, Egypt Ahmed Maher, Jordan Mawan al-Muasher, Kuwait Mohammad Salim as-Sabah and Turkey Abdullah Gul attended the seven nation meeting in absence of Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari who didn't come to Damascus for delayed invitation extended to him by the host country.
The foreign ministers of the seven states condemned any attempt to disintegrate Iraq and called on all parties in Iraq to respect the territorial integrity of the country.
The statement read out by the Syrian foreign minister in presence of the other participants emphasized the need for the United Nations to undertake the role of leadership in the country and pursue democratic means to hand over power to the Iraqi people, draw up the constitution of Iraq and set a timetable for withdrawal of the occupying forces from the country, the prerequisite for establishment of national government in the country.
The foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring states assigned their respective representatives to the United Nations to collectively work to activate UN role in Iraq.
They voiced solidarity with Iraqi people in the face of the hardship from which they are suffering and said that they respect Iraqi independence and territorial integrity.
They called for non-interference in Iraqi affairs and extensive efforts of the Iraqi Interim Governing Council (IGC) to establish a democratic government in Iraq.
They called on the occupying forces to respect the resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, the international law and the 1949 Geneva Convention in running the affairs of the country under occupation.
The foreign ministers condemned the terrorist bombing in Iraq which claimed innocent lives and called for identifying and bringing to justice of those involved in such sabotage.
"Existence of terrorist groups in Iraq is a threat to the neighboring countries. The Iraqi authorities are expected to remove the threats through cooperation with its neighbors," the statement said.
The foreign ministers complained in their statement that Iraqi foreign minister Zebari did not fulfill his duty and did not heed the invitation from his Syrian counterpart and hoped that Iraq will take part in the upcoming meetings.
They accepted an invitation from Kuwait to hold the fifth meeting of the foreign ministers in that country.
They thanked Syria for hosting the meeting and voiced solidarity with Syria condemning Israeli air raid on Syrian civilian area.
Foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring states held their first meeting in Istanbul ahead of invasion of Iraq by the coalition forces in April, the second meeting in Riyadh after the collapse of Saddam regime and the third in the context of the OIC meet in Tehran last June.
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