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Council Welcomes Iraq’s Government; Agrees on Fund

UN Security Council Welcomes Iraq’s Government; Agrees on Development Fund

New York, Jun 15 2006 9:00PM

After hearing detailed briefings on Iraq today, the United Nations Security Council welcomed the formation of the country’s first constitutionally-elected Government, which was completed earlier this month, agreed upon the continuation of the Multinational Force (MNF) and also on certain arrangements for a Development Fund (DFI) and an International Advisory and Monitoring Board for the war-ravaged country.

In a press statement, the 15-member Council also “urged all Iraqis to participate peacefully in the political process and demanded that those who use violence lay down their arms.”

“They reiterated their encouragement to the new Government to work tirelessly to promote national reconciliation and an atmosphere in which sectarianism is rejected,” and the Council also “welcomed the progress made in recruiting, training and equipping Iraqi security forces and their increasing responsibilities on the ground.”

“Members of the Security Council continued to look forward to the day Iraqi forces assume full responsibility for the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq, thus allowing the completion of the MNF mandate. They also reiterated the importance for all forces promoting the maintenance of security and stability in Iraq to act in accordance with international law, including obligations under international humanitarian law.”

In her briefing to the Council, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Angela Kane acknowledged the killings and instability in the country, but said that despite this Iraq had completed a three-year political transition with the formation of its first constitutionally-elected Government and this was cause for some optimism.

“While it may be understandable that, due to their transitory character, previous Governments were unable to take some of the hard decisions required to address the urgent needs of the Iraqi people, the establishment of a constitutionally-elected Government for a full four-year term offers new hope,” she said.

Ms. Kane said that over the past three years Iraq’s transition had moved from the Governing Council to the Interim Government and the Transitional Government, culminating with Iraq’s first constitutionally-elected Government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The other officials who also spoke to the Council painted a similar picture, with United States Ambassador John Bolton – speaking on behalf of the 29 countries making up the Multinational Force in Iraq – and the country’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, also acknowledging the difficult and dangerous security situation.

In his comments, Ambassador Bolton highlighted that the latest reporting period included the killing on 7 June of al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and one of his key associates, Sheikh abd Al-Rahman, although he said the organization still posed a threat.

“The measure of success will be the dawn of the day when the Iraqi people are fully able to secure their own safety, freedom and prosperity,” he said.

In his briefing to the Council, Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari also highlighted al-Zarqawi’s killing but added that security operations must go hand in hand with initiatives to promote national consensus, tolerance, justice and respect for human rights.

“With the formation of the new full-term Government and recent elimination of the most notorious terrorist, al-Zarqawi, we sense great momentum among the Iraqi people, and a very real chance to turn our situation around,” he told the Council members.

“This is the beginning of a new chapter in Iraq’s transformation from dictatorship to a sovereign, peaceful and prosperous federal democracy as voted by the Iraqi people.”


ENDS

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