Iraq Conference Ends With Vows On Debt, Security, Aid
22 June 2005 -- Officials from some 80 countries today rallied world help for Iraq and expressed support for the democratization of the country at an international conference in Brussels.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar al-Zebari hailed the results of the conference and said the immediate future would be very important for Iraq.
"These coming months are very crucial and very critical. We need your attention, your continued support and we are confident that, at the end of the day, we will succeed. We have no doubt that our cause is a just cause. The world is with us, and we are determined to move on," al-Zebari said.
A final declaration backs the transitional government's "efforts to achieve a democratic, pluralist, federal, and unified Iraq" and calls for "full respect for political and human rights." It also calls for national reconciliation.
The meeting explored practical ways in which the international community can help Iraq, but it left detailed decisions to a donors meeting in Amman, Jordan, next month.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the international support shown to Iraq during the conference amounted to a "turning point" for the country.
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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