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Foreign Minister says Iran stands ready to help rebuild Iraq

Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi who arrived in Kuwait City on Saturday to take part in a meeting of foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring countries voiced Iran's readiness to get involved in the reconstruction of the war-shattered Iraq, IRNA reported.

Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the fifth meeting of Iraq's neighbors, Kharrazi commented on the programs on the Iran-Iraq cooperation and said the two countries could work together in various fields from joint venture to tourism industry.

The two-day 5th ministerial meeting kicked off Saturday with participation of foreign ministers of Iraq's six neighboring countries plus Egypt, Bahrain and the United Nations representative to Iraq.

Security, territorial integrity and stability in the war-shattered Iraq, reducing Iraq's debts, speeding up the trend of the country's reconstruction and transfer of power to its people are among the main topics of the meeting.

Kharrazi said the countries neighboring Iraq should set a committee coordinating all activities on Iraq. This committee could start its operation by monitoring the transportation to and from Iraq.

He said Iran would respect the territorial integrity of Iraq and would continue to support any measure that would guarantee the rights of all Iraqis to form an elected government in the country.

He said the fate of Iraq should be determined by the Iraqis and all the ethnic communities living there.

Kharrazi said Iran would welcome a greater role of the United Nations in the holding of a free and just election in Iraq with due consideration of the realities.

He stressed that any approaches and guidelines on Iraq should include the security measures in the country.

Kharrazi said that ex-ruler of Iraq should be tried in presence of envoys from Iran and Kuwait and all the countries, which used to be the subject of Iraqi Baathist regime's aggression and crimes.

He deplored continued tension in Iraq in the post-Saddam era and under the reign of Americans.

He stressed that Iran's assistance to Iraq's reconstruction would include many major and minor projects due to be implemented there, saying Iraqi nation are in need of Iranians' strong presence on the scene.

He said Iraqis, from all parties, ethnic groups and religions, including Shiites and Sunnis, should have a share in Iraq's popular government.

Similar conferences have been already held in three other regional countries since the occupation of Iraq.

... Payvand News - 2/15/04 ... --

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