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Iranian President expresses concern about terror, insurgency, violence in Iraq

Tehran, Dec 1, IRNA -- President Mohammad Khatami said here on Wednesday that terror, insurgency, war and violence in Iraq have worried all regional states and warned that continued unrest in the country would spread terrorism worldwide.

Addressing a meeting of interior ministers of Iraq's neighboring states, President Khatami touched on negative consequences of terrorism, saying terror has spilled over to all the world and regional states with its adverse effects such criminal operations being evident in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

All should cooperate with the Iraqi nation to keep Iraqi borders secure and prevent activities of terrorist groups, said the President, adding that while attempting to restore security and peace to Iraq, efforts should be made to end occupation of the country so that the people in the country could decide their own fate.

Iraq is now free, willing to gain a position in the region and global community, said the President.

Regional states, especially Iran and Kuwait, have suffered a lot from Saddam's regime, said Khatami, adding that restoration of security to Iraq is important for all the neighboring countries.

Iraq with such a great nation needs security and "We should try along with the Iraqi government and nation to establish calm and security there."

He expressed hope that regarding its important responsibility to guarantee security for elections, the transitional government in Iraq would succeed in establishing a stable system based on a valid constitution.

The great and noble nation of Iraq should be assisted to demonstrate its merits in political and economic fields, he said.

Under present conditions, the Iraqi nation and government should be on the side of regional states and governments and not in the opposite front, said the President, adding that one should not allow ethnic differences to disunite the Iraqi nation.

The only government that can save Iraq is a national and popular one, which should be established through democracy means, he said.

The Chief Executive said, "We should witness the establishment of a permanent government in Iraq through free, broad-based and timely election so that through assistance of regional states and global community, reconstruction and progress would start in Iraq.

"We should strive for installation of a broad-based government in Iraq through the UN's active role," said the President.

Khatami said presence of the Egyptian government and nation in the process for restoring security and progress to Iraq should be taken as a golden opportunity.

The President rejected occupation of Iraq as an inappropriate solution, saying it is rather an insult to the Iraqi nation, the neighbors, the Arab community and Islamic society.

Khatami stressed the need to officially recognize the sovereignty of the Iraqi government and nation and said, "We should help Iraq go through this difficult road with the least cost to attain its goals, that are security, independence and progress."

He expressed hope that the Conference of the Interior Ministers of the Neighboring Countries of Iraq would be a source of blessing for the noble and great Iraqi nation.

Iran's Interior Minister Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari provided the meeting with a report on the talks among interior ministers of Iraq's neighboring countries in Tehran, saying these countries' cooperation with the UN would be helpful in settlement of Iraqi crisis.

Lari said the envoys of Iraq's neighboring states share close stances, stressing collaboration among the countries in connection with Iraq, would guarantee border security and meet their expectations.

Interior Ministers of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, and Egypt as well as the UN envoy have at the meeting highlighted the importance of such a meeting in Tehran, pointing to its positive impacts on the settlement of Iraqi problems and restoration of security and stability to the region.

The Ministers said establishment of security and stability in Iraq would entail security and stability in the region. They called for implementation of the agreements reached in the meeting.

They said guaranteeing territorial integrity and restoration of national sovereignty to the Iraqi people are the wish of all the neighboring and regional states.

They hoped that the UN would be able to fulfill its duties in Iraq.

... Payvand News - 12/1/04 ... --

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