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Full text of statement issued at 9th meeting of Iraq's neighboring states

Tehran, July 9, IRNA-The 9th meeting of foreign ministers of Iraq's neighboring states concluded its work here Sunday by issuing a statement.

The final statement of the meeting stressed the significance of helping the Iraqi government and nation to establish stability and security in that country.

The foreign ministers attending this meeting recalled other regional and international conferences on Iraq, particularly eight previous meetings of the foreign ministers and two meetings of the ministers of interior of Iraq's neighboring countries, as well as the meetings of Sharm al-Sheikh and Brussels and underlined the need to assist the government and people of Iraq in their endeavor to bring stability and security to this country.

They reviewed the current situation in Iraq, and in keeping with the universally recognized principles of international law, including respect for sovereignty, territorial and independence of Iraq, agreed as follows:

1. Welcoming the completion of the political transition process and the establishment of permanent government and national assembly in Iraq, the ministers stressed their full support for the constitutionally-based elected government and national assembly of Iraq and for the realization of the priorities of the new government toward a prosperous, free, independent, democratic and unified federal Iraq, living in peace and tranquility with its neighbors, based on good neighborly relations, non-interference in each other's internal affairs and respect for international and bilateral treaties and agreements.

2. Welcoming the establishment of a broad-based government with the participation of all segments of the Iraqi population in all elected institutions and new political structure of the country, the ministers expressed their full support for the national reconciliation plan of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki aimed at strengthening national unity, ensuring security, ending the current violence and inclusion of all groups in the political process. They called upon all Iraqi groups to participate and contribute actively within the framework of the afore-mentioned plan.

In this context, they also confirmed their support for the efforts led by the League of Arab States to ensure a viable process of national reconciliation.

3. Expressing deep concern over the continued escalation of violence and terrorist attacks against citizens and political and religious leaders of Iraq, members of diplomatic corps, foreign nationals engaged in economic, reconstruction and humanitarian activities in Iraq, mosques and sacred religious places, including the bombing of the holy Asgari Shrines in Samara, the ministers strongly condemned these attacks and reaffirmed their full support for the government and people of Iraq in countering terrorist and criminal activities. In this context, they underlined the need for convening a meeting of the religious leaders of Iraq, aimed at reaching consensus on strengthening Iraqi national unity, and condemning sectarian, and other kinds of violence, and welcomed the initiatives in this regard presented by King Abdullah of Jordan, OIC secretary-general and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

4. Noting the stated intention of the international community, including in Security Council resolutions 1546 and 1637, to terminate the presence of multinational forces at the request of the government of Iraq, the ministers expressed their support for the transfer of all affairs to the elected representatives of Iraqi people, and underlined the need to raise the level of preparedness of Iraqi defense and security forces and the earliest transfer of defense and security responsibilities to them.

5. Emphasizing the need for more active contribution of the international community, especially regional and international organizations and neighboring countries, in Iraq's political and economic development, and welcoming the enhanced diplomatic presence of other countries in Iraq, the ministers called on countries and international institutions to provide comprehensive assistance to the process of political and economic development and reconstruction of Iraq. In this context, the ministers welcomed the contributions of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, as reflected in the Baku declaration and the relevant resolutions, and of the League of Arab States.

6. Emphasizing the importance of Iraq's reconstruction and economic development, the ministers expressed their government's readiness to participate actively in the reconstruction of Iraq.

They agreed to reopen their embassies in Baghdad, and enhance their diplomatic presence in Iraq.

7. Expressing grave concern at the alarming security situation in Iraq, the ministers expressed their determination to engage in effective cooperation with the Iraqi government to enhance security and stability in Iraq and the region.

8. Emphasizing the important decisions of the first and second meetings of the interior ministers of Iraq's neighboring countries, held in Istanbul and Tehran, the ministers declared their readiness to support and cooperate bilaterally and multilaterally in implementing those decisions, and reaffirmed the holding of the third meeting of the interior ministers of Iraq's neighboring countries in Riyadh on the agreed date.

9. Underlining the importance of expansion of cooperation between the government of Iraq and the neighboring countries to combat terrorism, through, inter alia, the cooperation of their security officials to combat terrorism and to consider ways and means of enhancing security, and expressing concern over the continued presence and activities of certain recognized terrorist groups operating in Iraq and the resulting implications and threats for the security and stability of Iraq and its neighbors, the ministers expressed their support for the efforts made by the government and parliament of Iraq in accordance with its new constitution to combat all forms of terrorism and to prevent terrorist groups from using Iraqi territory to supply, organize or launch terrorist operations against neighboring countries or to infiltrate into their territories. The ministers emphatically called for more effective continuation and enhancement of these efforts.

10. The ministers underlined the need for a fair and transparent trial of Saddam and other criminal leaders of former Iraqi regime for war crimes, particularly use of weapons of mass destruction, crimes against humanity, genocide and aggressions against the Iraqi people, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the State of Kuwait, and stressed the need for adoption of measures to alleviate the sufferings of the victims of those crimes.

11. The ministers expressed their thanks to the Islamic Republic of Iran for hosting of this meeting. They emphasized the importance of continued holding of these meetings to support the people and government of Iraq, and welcomed the invitation extended by Iraq to host a future meeting of the foreign ministers of Iraq neighboring countries in Baghdad at the earliest appropriate time. They decided to hold a ministerial meeting in New York during the 61th session of the UN General Assembly.

... Payvand News - 7/9/06 ... --

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