May it continue to progress.
And please may the bulk of the Iraq populace decide to join and help us help them. Until they want true self government bad enough, we can only do so much.
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COALITION PROVISIONAL AUTHORITY MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
ISSUED JOINTLY ON BEHALF OF THE CPA AND MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IRAQ?S ONGOING TRANSITION TO SOVEREIGNTY REACHES MAJOR MILE STONE:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Transitions to Full Authority
Baghdad, Iraq, 12 May, 2004 -- Full authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was formally handed back to the Iraqi people today at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building. Ambassador L. Paul Bremer, III, Coalition Provisional Authority Administrator, congratulated Mr. Hoshyar Zebari, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his staff for their many accomplishments, including Iraq?s reinstatement into the Arab League, the United Nations, and Organization of the Islamic Conference.
?Already for months, the professionals of the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been making their own decisions and acting upon them,? Ambassador Bremer remarked.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already helped the CPA accomplish one of its main goals and that is to build a new Iraq at peace with its neighbors and with the International Community. For over 3 decades, Iraq's standing in the international community had been steadily eroded by the disastrous foreign policy of the former regime. In the Middle East alone, the former regime agitated violence, intimidated Iraq's neighbors, fomented regional instability and continued to pose a dangerous threat to the rest of the world.
Since his appointment in September 2003, Minister Zebari and his staff have worked tirelessly to regain Iraq?s seat in all international organizations. The Ministry has also successfully re-opened nearly fifty embassies world wide, offering effective and open consular services in order to facilitate the requests of Iraqi?s seeking help from their government.
Committing itself to reforming and modernizing diplomatic practices, the Ministry has begun nurturing a new working culture that embodies the principles of equal rights, democracy and good governance. Along with a proactive policy of internal reform, young Iraqi men and women, selected on merit, are currently engaged in training programs around the world to develop a new cadre of professional diplomats to represent the integrity and ideals of the new Iraq.
Addressing the assembled guests, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari remarked: "today's ceremony was an important milestone in the Ministry's campaign to restore sovereignty to Iraq and promote an independent foreign policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is proud to serve the Iraqi people, and we are committed to achieving our goals to reform the ministry, and its activities, and put Iraq back on the international map where it rightly belongs as a responsible and strategic member".
Taking place in the Ministry?s newly renovated auditorium, the ceremony?s notable guest list included Ambassador David Richmond, the United Kingdom?s Special Representative; Ambassador Ronald Neuman, Director of Foreign Affairs for the CPA; Iraqi Governing Council members Dr. Adnan Pachachi, Dr. Seyyid Muhammed Bahr ul-Uloom, Amhed al-Bar'rak, and Dr. Raja Habib Khuzai; Samir Sumaidy, Iraqi Minister of Interior; heads of the International Diplomatic Corps in Iraq; and heads of International Organizations operating in Iraq.
1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is actively pursuing the following objectives:
o Protect Iraq's security, stabilize the country and preserve Iraq's territorial integrity;
o Restore international diplomatic bilateral relations and re-engage the international community in Iraq's reconstruction and development;
o Reconstruct our economy and infrastructure to raise the standard of living of the Iraqi people;
o Reactivate Iraq's diplomatic missions and promote Iraqi interests in all political, economic, social and cultural fields;
o Rejoin, and engage in, all multi-lateral bodies;
o Reform the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its activities based on new values and principles;
o Pursue our chosen path of democratization within the framework of sovereignty, unity and equal citizenship.
2. Since September 2003, Iraq has successfully re-established its seat in most multilateral bodies including the Arab League, United Nations General Assembly, the Organization of Islamic Conference, G77, International Monetary Fund, Non-Aligned Movement, OPEC, Regional Conference of Iraq?s Neighboring Countries, UNESCO, UNCTAD, World Bank, and the World Trade Organization.