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CFSP Statements


Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on the Expanded Meeting of the Neighbouring Countries of Iraq

The EU welcomes the holding of the Expanded Ministerial of the Neighbouring Countries of Iraq, which took place in Kuwait on 22 April and would like to thank the Government of Kuwait for hosting this important event.

The EU reaffirms its strong support for the Neighbouring countries process and underlines the mutual benefits of continuing dialogue and co-operation between Iraq, its neighbours and the International Community. Constructive engagement of Iraq's neighbours and partners in the region remains essential to achieve peace and stability in Iraq and in the region as a whole. The expanded Neighbouring countries process offers an excellent forum for regional dialogue and co-operation. The EU reiterates its clear commitment to contribute to the success of this process. We encourage the three working groups on refugees, security co-operation and energy to make further progress on technical co-operation.

The EU urges all partners in the region to contribute to the political stabilisation and reconstruction of Iraq by implementing commitments made during the neighbours' process and other mechanisms such as International Compact with Iraq and the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI); and through advancing discussions on the provision of debt relief.

Therefore, we welcome the decision by Bahrain to reopen its Embassy in Baghdad and we encourage those neighbours who have not already done so to take advantage of the improved security situation and commit to sending Ambassadors to Baghdad and opening diplomatic missions to facilitate direct bilateral diplomatic relations. The international community, and in particular the States in the region, have a responsibility to support and promote the difficult process of national reconciliation and stabilization in Iraq, and to prevent outside interference that could undermine this process. We urge them to use their influence to promote support for the statement released by the Iraqi Political Council for National Security on 6 April.

The EU reaffirms its support for a secure, stable, democratic, prosperous and unified Iraq and reiterates its commitment to the independence, sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity of Iraq. The EU reaffirms its support for the legitimate, democratically elected Government of Prime Minister al-Maliki and the democratically elected institutions of Iraq. Any aid to groups that attack Iraq and coalition forces and undermine the security and stabilisation of Iraq is wholly unacceptable. We encourage further efforts by Iraq and its neighbours to prevent the transit of foreign fighters and arms to and from Iraq.

The EU underlines its support for the central role of UN/UNAMI in Iraq and encourages continued close cooperation between UNAMI and the Iraqi authorities on the implementation of UNSCR 1770.

The Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and Association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia align themselves with this declaration.

* Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.


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Date: 25.04.2008