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Condoleezza Rice Closing Session Iraq Conference

Remarks at the Closing Session of the International Conference on Iraq

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Brussels, Belgium
June 22, 2005

(10:55 a.m. EDT)

Thank you very much. I would like very much to thank the European Union for co-hosting this conference. I would like to thank Secretary General Annan for being here on behalf of the United Nations which critically will play a role here in Iraq over the next several months in helping the Iraqi people prepare for their historic elections for a permanent government at the end of the year. We have had an opportunity as an international community to hear from this fine team of Iraqis about their aspirations, about their ambitions, about their needs as they move forward.

We are witnessing as an international community the emergence, of course, of an Iraq free of tyranny, a great culture and a great people who are finally throwing off years and decades of tyranny and horror for their people to try and build a free and democratic future.

It is, of course, a process that is challenged by evil people who would try and destroy those hopes and dreams, and I very much here want to associate myself with something that the Defense Minister said earlier: Terrorism can be defeated in Iraq, it will be defeated in Iraq, and when it is defeated in Iraq, at the heart of the Middle East, it will be a death knell for terrorism as we know it.

And so we do this as an international community because a great people are emerging from tyranny into freedom, because our own security is dependent on the defeat of terrorism in this great region, and also because we have a moral responsibility. At some time in the histories of each and every country around this table, somebody had to help as other countries emerged from tyranny into democracy, as they defeated fascism on the continent of Europe with the help of others. At some time, each and every one of us needed the help of others.

The Iraqi people now need our help. Because they need our help and because they have spoken so clearly and so directly, we know what it is that we need to do. And I just want to encourage each and every country at this table that has spoken about the obligation, that has spoken about our ambitions and that has spoke about what we are willing to do, that we will now go and do it. Because the Iraqi people have taken a great risk. They are a courageous people who are working toward democracy and freedom. Let us support them fully and wholeheartedly.

Thank you very much. 2005/T10-22

Released on June 22, 2005

ENDS

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