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Iraq: UN envoy fine-tunes world body's role

Iraq: UN envoy visits Turkey as he fine-tunes world body's role

Continuing his tour of neighbouring countries to drum up support for the political, humanitarian and economic reconstruction of Iraq, top United Nations envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello held long and “very productive” talks in Ankara today with Turkish Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

Fresh from weekend meetings with Kuwaiti leaders, Mr. Vieira de Mello, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative, expressed his appreciation for Turkey’s full engagement in seeking ways to best support the process of restoring stability in Iraq and for its current humanitarian assistance.

During the three-hour meeting the two sides had “a fruitful exchange of views on how to ensure the full implementation” of the latest Security Council resolution on Iraq, a spokesman for the UN envoy said in Baghdad.

“Mr. Gul emphasized Turkey’s genuine commitment to the welfare of all Iraqis, and to seeking ways of relieving their suffering,” the spokesman added. “He also underlined the importance of the equitable representation of all sectors of Iraq’s population in its leadership institutions, indicating that this would ensure a stable and prosperous Iraq.”

Mr. Gul briefed the UN team on the debate in Turkey over any military contribution that his country might make to Iraq’s stabilization. The two teams also discussed how to proceed with ensuring the voluntary return of all refugees to and from Iraq.

As part of his efforts to obtain input from a full spectrum of Iraqi and neighbouring leaders as he fine tunes a UN role in the country following the recent war, Mr. Vieira de Mello has already visited Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iran. He also plans to travel to Egypt shortly.


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