The text of a joint statement on Iraq issued Saturday by the United States and the European Union in Newmarket-on-Fergus, Ireland:
The United States and the European Union share a common commitment in our support for the Iraqi people and the fully sovereign Iraqi Interim Government as they build a free, secure, democratic, unified, and prosperous country, at peace with itself, its neighbors, and with the wider world. Iraq needs and deserves the strong support of the international community to realize its potential.
We applaud the unanimous approval of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 on Iraq, endorsing the formation of the fully sovereign Iraqi Interim Government and the political process that will lead to a democratic Iraq, and recognize it as a new basis for the international community to support the goals of the Iraqi people.
We welcome the establishment of the Iraqi Interim Government and offer our full and sustained support for its assumption of full sovereignty and for its mission to guide Iraq with the advice and support of the United Nations toward elections no later than 31 January 2005.
We express our shared commitment, and urge others, including international organizations, to support the economic and political reconstruction of Iraq, focusing on priority projects identified by the Iraqi Interim Government.
We support the continued and expansive engagement of the United Nations in Iraq after the transfer of sovereignty, as circumstances permit, with a leading role in the electoral process and the reconstruction of Iraq.
Recognizing the vital need to combat terrorism and maintain security and stability in Iraq, we support the mission of the Multinational Force for Iraq, including protection of the United Nations’ presence, in accordance with the UNSCR 1546 and the invitation of the Iraqi Interim Government. We stress the need for full respect of the Geneva Conventions. We also support the training and equipping of professional Iraqi security forces, capable of assuming increasing responsibility for the country’s security, as requested by Prime Minister Allawi.
The U.S. will use its substantial assistance to support the Iraqi people, including through critical essential services like electricity, oil industry, water resources, and sanitation, health care, transportation, and telecommunications. In addition, the U.S. will focus on continuing economic and technical assistance and establishing formal bilateral relations with Iraq.
The EU is providing assistance for the delivery of key public services, employment and poverty reduction, and strengthening governance, civil society, and human rights. The EU will launch dialogue with the Iraqi Interim Government and society and stands ready to prioritize support for the political process and elections, consider further support for the rule of law and civil administration in Iraq, use its relations with Iraq’s neighbors to encourage positive engagement and regional support for political and economic reconstruction, play a positive role in discussions of Iraq’s external debt and on trade issues, and work to enhance its representation in Iraq.
We welcome the success of the recent donors’ conference in Doha of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq, and will work together and with key governments and organizations before the next conference in Tokyo later this year to identify ways in which the international community can continue to effectively contribute to the reconstruction of Iraq.
We pledge to provide support and assistance for the process leading to national elections for the Transitional National Assembly no later than January 31, 2005. To that end, the United States and European Union will work together, with other donors, with the Iraqi Interim Government, and in response to requests for assistance from the United Nations, which plays a leading role in the electoral process. This assistance will be fully coordinated with the Iraqi Interim Government.
We will continue to support the provision of international assistance on a bilateral basis and through the United Nations and other international organizations, with a view to responding to the needs of the Iraqi population.
We shall promote reduction of Iraq’s external debt burden, as debt reduction is critical if the Iraqi people are to have the opportunity to build a free and prosperous nation. This reduction should be provided in connection with an IMF program, and sufficient to ensure sustainability taking into account the recent IMF analysis. We encourage governments within the Paris Club, and non-Paris Club creditors, to achieve that objective in 2004.
We will support Iraq’s efforts to build a prosperous economy with a thriving private sector and an efficient public sector, attractive and open to investment, that reintegrates the country into the regional and international community, and provides for economic opportunities for all Iraqis.
To help reestablish the ties that link Iraq to the world, we will explore ways of reaching out directly to the Iraqi people as they emerge from decades of dictatorship to launch the political, social, and economic reconstruction of their nation. We will work with the Iraqi Interim Government and Iraqi civil society to strengthen democracy and respect for human rights, the rule of law, transparency, and good government.
We will encourage positive engagement and regional support from Iraq’s neighbors for the political and reconstruction process in Iraq.
If the Iraqi Interim Government decides that an international conference would support Iraqi political transition and Iraqi recovery to the benefit of the Iraqi people and the interest of stability in the region, we would welcome such a meeting.