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Press Release
Jean Asselborn in Baghdad for EU Troika Meeting with Iraq

Date of release : 09-06-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Jean Asselborn, current President of the Council of the European Union and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Immigration, travelled to Baghdad on 9 June 2005, for a meeting of the European Union Troika with Iraq.

Alongside Minister Asselborn, the Secretary General of the Council and High Representative for the CFSP, Javier Solana, External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw also took part in the talks.

The European delegation met with President Jalal Talabani, Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Transitional Assembly President Hajem al Hassani and with representatives of Sunni parties.

The discussions focused mainly on preparations for a forthcoming international conference on Iraq, and the process of political transition in Iraq, particularly the drafting of a new Constitution for the country.

Jean Asselborn made the following statement at the end of the meetings in Baghdad:

"Our presence in Baghdad today, together with the international conference that will take place in Brussels on 22 June and bring together some 80 delegations, is testimony to the EU's support for the people of Iraq. The European Union gives its full backing to Iraq in its political, economic, social reconstruction efforts in the framework of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1546.

Apart from offering financial assistance to Iraq, we also provide support for the political and constitutional process as well as the training of judges, police and prison officers in the framework of an integrated EU Rule of Law mission.

Our talks today centred on preparations for the Brussels conference, which will allow Iraqis to present their vision and priorities in the fields of politics, economics and rule of law for the transition period leading up to elections towards the end of the year. The continued active involvement of the Iraqi Transitional Government is very important to us.

The constitutional process will also feature very prominently at the conference in Brussels. Like our Iraqi interlocutors, we stressed the importance of an inclusive constitutional process, based on national dialogue and nation-wide consensus. We therefore welcome that Iraq will send a substantial delegation at the Brussels Conference, which includes representatives from different institutions and backgrounds.

All Iraqis need to have a voice in determining the future of their country. The next few weeks and months will be particularly important in this respect in ensuring the drafting of a new constitution on the basis on a nationwide consensus and within the deadlines foreseen in the Transitional Administrative Law.

I would also like to reiterate that the EU will continue to support the efforts of the Iraqi government to build a secure, stable, unified, prosperous and democratic Iraq that upholds human rights and cooperates constructively with its neighbours and with the international community."

This page was last modified on : 09-06-2005

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