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Press Release
The GAERC has prepared the international conference on Iraq that will take place in Brussels on June 22

Date of release : 13-06-2005

Policy area : General Affairs and External Relations

Event : General Affairs and External Relations Council

The General Affairs and External Relations Council, attended by the European Foreign Affairs Ministers on June 13 2005 in Luxembourg, drew up an assessment of preparations for the international conference on Iraq, due to take place in Brussels on June 22. "The preparations, which are being made in close collaboration with Iraq, the UN, the United States, Egypt, Japan and Russia among others, are going well," stated Jean Asselborn, current president of the Council of the European Union.

We are expecting a good turnout: over 80 countries and international organisations have been invited and, to date, most have indicated that they want to take part at ministerial level. The Secretary General of the UN has signalled his intention to attend and Iraq will be represented by a delegation of around ten Ministers, as well as parliamentarians and representatives of the various institutions and communities. During our meetings last Thursday in Baghdad, we also strongly urged the Iraqi authorities to send a truly inclusive delegation to the Brussels conference.

The general aim of the conference will be to mark the international community’s support of the new Iraqi government during the transition period, which will lead to constitutional elections in December 2005. We also see the role of Iraq’s neighbours as highly important.

The conference will give Iraq the opportunity to tell us about their long-term strategy, including their ideas on the constitutional process, reconstruction and questions relating to the rule of law and public order."

Jean Asselborn also mentioned the Troika of the European Union, which went to Baghdad on June 9  2005: "We wanted to send a clear signal a few days before the International conference: the European Union is ready to forge ahead in its relations with Iraq, in all areas. We will support Iraqi government initiatives to promote an Iraq that is safe, stable, unified, prosperous, democratic and respectful of human rights, and that cooperates constructively with its neighbours and the international community.

During our meetings with the President, the Prime Minister, the President of the Transitional National Assembly and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, we constantly insisted on the importance we attach to an inclusive political transition process, based on national dialogue and nationwide consensus. In particular, we called on the authorities to ensure that all communities take part in the constitutional process, while exhorting the representatives of the Sunni community, whom we also met, to actively participate. We emphasised that the voice of all Iraqis must be heard in determining the future of the country."

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This page was last modified on : 13-06-2005

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