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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

01 June 2005

United States, European Union To Host Iraq Conference in Brussels

More than 80 countries, international organizations invited to participate

The United States and the European Union (EU) will co-host an international conference with Iraq June 22 in Brussels, Belgium, that will serve as a forum for the new Iraqi Transitional Government to present its priorities, vision and strategies for the transition period leading up to the next round of elections in late 2005.

It is also intended to mobilize international support for Iraq’s government and institutions, according to a June 1 announcement by the U.S. State Department.

Iraq will lead discussions on themes outlined in U.N. Security Council Resolution 1546: the political process, economic challenges and reconstruction, and public order and the rule of law, the State Department said.

Foreign ministers are expected to attend from the United States, the EU, Iraq and its neighbors. More than 80 countries and international organizations have been invited.

Following is the statement:

(begin text)

U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
June 1, 2005

Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman

THE UNITED STATES, THE EUROPEAN UNION AND IRAQ ANNOUNCE INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON JUNE 22, 2005

Following a request from the new Iraqi Transitional Government, an international conference with Iraq, co-hosted by the United States and the European Union, will be held at the Foreign Minister level in Brussels on June 22, 2005.

The aim of the conference is to provide a forum for the new Iraqi Transitional Government to present its priorities, vision and strategies for the transition period leading up to the next round of elections toward the end of the year.  It is also an opportunity to mobilize international support for the Iraqi Transitional Government and its institutions.

The conference will be structured around three themes outlined in the UN Security Council Resolution 1546:

-- Political process

-- Economic challenges and reconstruction

-- Public order and rule of law.

Iraq will lead the discussions in these three areas and is expected to bring a large delegation representing a wide range of interests and communities.  Over 80 countries and international organizations have been invited.

When President Bush visited Brussels on February 22, the United States and the European Union agreed to offer to host an international conference on Iraq if the Iraqis so wished.  The Iraqi Transitional Government has now written to the United States and the European Union and asked that such a conference be held to provide Iraq with a vehicle to engage with the international community.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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