'Overall, the European Union is today delivering an impressive and comprehensive programme of assistance to the government and people of Iraq, as they seek to build a peaceful and democratic future. Last month I visited Baghdad with Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner, High Representative Javier Solana and Foreign Minister Asselborn. This was an important visit symbolising the EU's commitment to Iraq. We made clear during that visit our wish to build further on the programme of assistance. The Commissioner also re-iterated the Commission's intention to open an office in Baghdad as soon as possible, so as to strengthen the EU's dialogue and technical assistance. At the international conference on Iraq in Brussels a fortnight ago, hosted by the US and the EU, representatives from some 87 countries and international organisations gave a similar and strong message of support to the new Iraq.'
Jack Straw commenting on EU assistance to Iraq in a speech to the European Parliament on 6 July 2005.
'Over the last two years we have worked hard, along with our international partners, to support the Iraqi people in their quest for a stable, democratic and inclusive Iraq, following decades of repression and dictatorship.
'No-one would deny that there have been difficulties on the way, but Prime Minister Ja'afari's State of the Nation speech today shows the determination of the Iraqi Transitional Government to keep the political process on track. I warmly welcome the Government plans that Dr Ja'afari has outlined, in particular those to strengthen democratic institutions; to reach out to all Iraqis, including those who did not vote in January's elections; to improve essential services; as well as to build national unity and a society which respects the rule of law and human rights. Significantly, Dr Ja'afari also highlighted the importance of Iraqi Security Forces taking on responsibility for security, while acknowledging the Multi-National Force's role under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 in building the Iraqi Security Forces' capability.
'Iraq's development over the last two years has been remarkable. But much remains to be done. This underlines the importance of the UN, the EU, NATO and the wider international community in supporting the Iraqi government in its efforts to bring about the changes and improvements that the Iraqi people desire and deserve.'
Jack Straw welcomes the speech by Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Ja'afari on 31 May 2005 seting out the Iraqi Transitional Government's programme for a secure, democratic, federal and united Iraq.
Welcome to the Iraq pages of the FCO website. We hope that the following pages will provide some answers to your questions. For more detailed information please go straight to Frequently Asked Questions. Also, see Iraq Country Profile.