Negroponte Pledges "True Partnership" with Iraq
Statement by Ambassador John D. Negroponte, U.S. Representative to the United
Nations, on the Situation in Iraq, in the Security Council, June 3, 2004
Thank you, Mr. President, Mr. Secretary-General. It is a pleasure to welcome
Foreign Minister Zebari back to the Council, this time in his capacity as
Foreign Minister of the Iraqi Interim Government.
Mr. President, Iraq is poised to take a momentous step in its modern history.
The new government named earlier this week will assume full sovereignty this
month, and in the coming months, it will have the responsibility and authority
for leading the people of Iraq to national elections by early next year.
Minister Zebari, the work, which lies ahead of your government, is exhilarating
in its promise for the future, but we are sure that it will not be easy. You and
your colleagues will be called on to demonstrate your commitment to the Iraqi
people at a difficult and dangerous time. Those who deploy terror in an attempt
to snatch hopes for the future from the Iraqi people will continue, and perhaps
even redouble, their insidious and vicious attacks. We are sadly but acutely
aware that you and your colleagues face personal risks by serving your country.
The United States warmly welcomes the formation of a cabinet of distinguished
Iraqi men and women, who represent the breadth, talent and diversity of Iraqi
society. As President Bush said on Tuesday, "the government has the talent,
commitment and resolve to guide Iraq through
the challenges that lie ahead." The United States stands ready to assist
the Government of Iraq in achieving the goal of a secure, democratic Iraq, at
peace with its neighbors. We look to Member States of the United Nations to join
us in assisting the people of Iraq to realize that vision.
Mr. Secretary-General, we pay tribute to your Special Adviser, Ambassador
Lakhdar Brahimi, for his tireless work in setting the stage for a new Prime
Minister's leadership of the Iraqi people. Ambassador Brahimi engaged in a
vibrant consultation with hundreds, and even thousands of Iraqis, representing
the diversity of Iraq. We expect to see this process continue, through the
formation of a national council next month to advise and assist the interim
Today, as Minister Zebari joins us, the Security Council is considering a draft
text circulated by my delegation and that of the United Kingdom. The draft
salutes the new moment that we are facing in Iraq's history. The occupation of
Iraq will end. The Iraqi people will assume full responsibility and authority
for governing a proud and rich nation. The Council's timely passage of this
resolution will bear witness to a fundamental change in the relationship between
the Security Council and Iraq after nearly fourteen years following Saddam
Hussein's invasion of Kuwait.
Minister Zebari, we welcome your presence here in New York and we welcome Iraq's
contribution to the exchange of views on the resolution under discussion.
In the days ahead, my government and our multi-national force partners will
engage the incoming Iraqi government on a broad range of issues, and in
particular, on the nature of the security partnership between the multi-national
force and the Iraqi people. The United States is committed to supporting the new
Iraqi Government in its work to bring lasting stability to Iraq and to allow for
free national elections by the end of January 2005. This will be a true
partnership, founded on shared goals and tangible cooperation at all levels -
from the soldiers on foot patrols to the highest levels of two sovereign
Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Minister Zebari, our work in the Security
Council to support the Iraqi people will not end with the passage of this
resolution, nor with the end of occupation: we must confront, with resolve and
determination, those who seek to deny the Iraqi people the opportunity for
democratic self-government and those who seek to sow instability, fear and
terror in Iraq. The United States will not flinch in this task.
This is work that demands a shared effort, from the international community,
standing shoulder to shoulder with the Iraqi people and with the Iraqi Interim
Government, as they move along the path to elections and developing capable
institutions for governance and as they work to create a stable, peaceful and
democratic future for their country.
Thank you, Mr. President.