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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

UN Iraq envoy stresses inclusive elections and protection of civilians in talks

28 November 2005 Continuing his series of meetings with Iraqi leaders on national reconcialliation, the senior United Nations envoy to Iraq held talks over the past two days with former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi and Defense Minister Sa’doun Duleimi, urging inclusive elections and protection of civilians.

In his meeting yesterday with Minister Duleimi, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Special Representative for the Secretary-General (SRSG), discussed the latest political and security developments in the country.

They agreed that the current dynamics were more conducive to wider participation in the upcoming parliamentary elections than it was for last January’s elections, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI).

Mr. Qazi emphasized the need for creating a climate that allowed for inclusive, fair elections and hoped that military operations in Anbar province and the western part of the country will end as soon as possible to permit the fullest voter participation in those areas.

He also expressed concern over the plight of civilians in those areas, many of whom had to flee the fighting. Mr. Duleimi said his Government and the Multi-National Force (MNF-I) were doing all they can to prevent unnecessary hardships for civilians and to aid in their resettlement.

In the meeting with former Prime Minister Allawi, Mr. Qazi discussed last week's preparatory meeting for the Iraqi National Accord Conference, to be held next February or March. He discussed the electoral process as well, reiterating the UN’s pledge to facilitate it. He also emphasized, once again, the importance of international observers in the electoral process.

Previously this weekend, Mr. Qazi held talks with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Ibrahim Al-Jafari.

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