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Kharrazi terms talks on post-war Iraq as positive, constructive

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Tehran, Feb 15, IRNA -- Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi here on 
Sunday described as "positive and constructive" the meeting of Iraq`s 
neighbors in Kuwait to discuss post-war Iraq. 
Kharrazi told reporters upon arrival from Kuwait that Iraq`s 
neighboring states were unanimous that power should be transferred to 
the Iraqi people and that occupiers should leave the country. 
He said the participants in the meeting also agreed in principle 
that elections should be held in Iraq, but could not reach a 
compromise on the exact date of elections and the procedure to form a 
transitional government in the country. 
Kharrazi said Iraq`s neighbors have common concerns regarding the 
developments in Iraq, adding that their meetings should continue until
those concerns are alleviated. 
He highlighted the need to take serious measures for establishment
of a legitimate and representative government in Iraq. 
Kharrazi also said that the presence of Iraq`s interim Foreign 
Minister Hoshyar Zebari and UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in the Kuwait 
meeting was very important. 
He said Brahimi had briefed the participants on the details of 
his talks with Iraqi and US officials, as well as Ayatollah Ali 
Sistani. 
Kharrazi further said that the final declaration of the meeting 
stressed issues such as protecting Iraq`s territorial integrity and 
unity, the withdrawal of foreign troops, transfer of power to 
people and elimination of terrorist groups. 
He added that the declaration also highlighted the need to respect
the right of Iraqis to self-determination, hold elections and form a 
legitimate transitional government in the country. 
The meeting of foreign ministers of Iraq`s neighboring states in 
Kuwait was the fifth of its kind, attended by foreign ministers of 
Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey, along with Egypt 
and Bahrain. 
The ministers at the end of the meeting stressed the role of the 
United Nations in Iraq as well as the need to safeguard the war-torn 
country`s territorial integrity and sovereignty and rapid withdrawal 
of occupation forces. 
They also highlighted `the right of the Iraqi people to determine 
their political future` as well as `the importance of enhancing the 
role of the United Nations so that it can assume this task throughout 
the transitional period in Iraq`. 
Speaking at the inaugural session of the meeting on Saturday, 
Kharrazi announced Iran`s readiness to stand next to Iraq in the 
reconstruction of the war-shattered country. 
AA/212 
End 



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