Joint Ministerial Meeting (19) between the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and the European Union

Dr. Mohammad Sabah AlSalem AlSabah Speech On Iraq
Muscat, April 29, 2009

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends,

His Excellency, the friend Karel Schwarzenberg, Foreign Minister of the friendly Czech Republic - President of the European Ministerial Council.

Firstly, I would like to express our great pleasure at renewing our meeting with our friends in the European Union, hoping that our meeting will achieve the goals and objectives towards enhancing and strengthening the relations of friendship and partnership between the friendly countries and peoples of the two systems. Allow me here to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to the sisterly Sultanate of Oman, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, and the dear Omani people for their generous hospitality and warm welcome.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends,

On behalf of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, we are pleased to refer to the item concerning Iraq and to welcome the full consensus between the positions of the Council countries and the European Union regarding the developments in Iraq. We emphasize our great appreciation for the vital role played by the European Union in supporting the Iraqi people through providing various humanitarian and economic assistance and full support for the Iraq Reconstruction Fund, which will assist the fraternal Iraqi people in re-emerging and rehabilitating in various fields.

We also welcome the fruitful results of the third expanded neighboring countries meeting on Iraq, held in Kuwait on April 23, 2008, with the participation of international organizations and bodies. We emphasize the importance of following up on the important decisions contained in the final statement, which are in the interest of Iraq.

In this context, we must commend the positive step of exchanging official visits between officials in the State of Kuwait and Iraq, the latest of which was our visit to Baghdad on February 26, 2009. This visit represents Kuwait's support for Iraq to regain its vital role in maintaining security and stability in the Gulf and the Middle East.

Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Dear Friends,

We in the Gulf Cooperation Council closely monitor and with great hope the developments in the Iraqi arena. Despite the relative improvement in the security situation in Iraq, we still look forward to concerted efforts to ensure the success of the political process and to establish constitutional foundations that are accepted by all segments of the Iraqi people, leading to the common goal of building a new Iraq that lives in security with its people and in peace with its neighbors.
- An Iraq that respects human rights and international conventions.
- An Iraq supportive of security, stability, development, and peace in the region.

Based on the current heightened interest of the Council countries in Iraq and in preparation for the required dialogue on Iraq in this meeting, allow me to outline the principles around which the position of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries on Iraq revolves:

Firstly: Respect for the unity, sovereignty, and stability of Iraq and rejection of anything that may lead to its fragmentation, reiterating the importance of not interfering in its internal affairs by any party in a manner that does not serve Iraqi national unity.

Secondly: Emphasis on the importance of expediting the completion of national reconciliation among the various segments of the Iraqi people to ensure the success of the comprehensive political process that embraces all the sons of the Iraqi people, without exception or discrimination.

Thirdly: Condemnation of terrorist and criminal acts, sectarian killings, and the necessity to dissolve all militias and armed groups, disarm them, end all armed manifestations, and stop all forced displacement activities carried out by those forces.

Fourthly: Continuing the efforts of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to implement their commitments as pledged within the framework of the Iraq reconstruction.

Fifthly: Urging the United Nations, once again, to continue its effective efforts to achieve security and stability in Iraq and work to conclude the remaining unfinished issues related to the restoration of the Kuwaiti national archive and identifying the remaining missing persons, including citizens of Kuwait and others from other countries.

Sixthly: Emphasizing the need for Iraq to fully implement all its commitments in accordance with relevant international charters and resolutions and to establish relations based on the principles of good neighborliness and mutual cooperation.

Finally, dear friends, I would like to reaffirm the readiness and permanent welcome of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries for consultation, coordination, and continuation of these discussions with our friends in the European Union regarding the interest of Iraq, ensuring its return to being an active and positive member in its regional, Arab, and international environment in the future.

Peace be upon you.

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