|His Highness the Prime Ministerâ€™s address at the opening of the Third Expanded Ministerial Conference of the Neighbouring Countries of Iraq, GCC Countries, Permanent Members of the UN Security Council and the G8.|
|22 April 2008|
His Excellency Prime Minister of the brotherly Republic of Iraq...
Their Excellencies, Ministers of Foreign Affaires...
Their Excellencies, Representatives of International and Regional Organizations.
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you in the State of Kuwait, wishing you a pleasant stay among us. I am also pleased to convey to you the best regards of His Highness the Amir, and His Highness the Crown Prince, and their wishes of success at this important meeting.
I am also honored that my country is hosting this conference, through which it emphasizes to the whole world our utmost interest in Iraq's stability and security by means of consultations and discussions of the best ways to accomplish our aspirations for a bright future for this brotherly country. I would like to seize this opportunity to thank you all for accepting our invitation, and for your endeavors to achieve success at this conference, through which we can accomplish the goals and expectations of the international community.
The restoration of durable peace, stability and prosperity in Iraq has been a vital target adopted by the international community after the fall of the former regime. While the neighboring states undertook the responsibility of following the development of the situation in Iraq and held a series of intensive ministerial and technical meetings, our third expanded conference of the neighboring states reaffirms the continuous concern of the international community to contribute and participate in realizing the aspirations in an effective and direct manner. The increased participation of states and regional and international organizations is a clear indication of that concern.
It gives me pleasure at the beginning of this conference, to assure you of the important commitments of the State of Kuwait that started with Iraq entering a new era following the fall of the former regime, these are:
1- Assisting our brothers in Iraq in restoring the construction of the cultural, social, economic and political institutions of the state. This shall not materialize without the assurance of Iraq's independence, complete sovereignty, national unity, integrity, Islamic and Arab identity, non- interference in its internal affairs, emphasizing the principle of the Iraqi identity and calling upon all Iraqi ethnic elements to promote national unity.
I would also emphasize the importance of adhering to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of Iraq. In spite of nationalistic, ethnic, religious and historical ties that link Iraq to neighboring countries, interfering and exporting political disputes will transform it into a battle ground for armed conflict, threatening its security and stability which in turn will have impact on the security and stability of the region as a whole.
2- Kuwait denounces all acts of terrorism in all shapes and forms suffered by our brothers in Iraq, and urges the international community as a whole to support the Iraqi government to combat it, including the efforts to prevent the use of Iraqi territories as a base for terrorism against neighboring states and vice versa, and to support joint efforts to prevent the illegal movement of terrorists and weapons to and from Iraq.
3- Kuwait is interested in the humanitarian aspect of displaced Iraqis, and believes that their protection, fulfillment of their urgent needs, maintaining their security is a joint responsibility shared between Iraq and the International Community. In this regard, I would like to refer to the recent initiative of the state of Kuwait in granting a voluntary donation to the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to be allocated to displaced persons inside Iraq.
It is important to urge all international parties to increase their humanitarian support for displaced persons and refugees, and to set suitable conditions for their safe return to their homes in a way that preserves their dignity and stability.
To conclude, I would like to welcome and thank all participants, hoping that our meeting will set a prominent milestone in history that enhances peace in the region and brings security, stability and progress in the fields of development and prosperity.
Wassalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatu Allahi Wa Barakatuh
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