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Annan urges international community to help Iraq rebuild

Deutsche Presse Agentur
Published: Monday September 18, 2006

New York- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday called on the international community to re-engage Iraq and its neighbours to help rebuild the war-torn country. "Peace in Iraq will ultimately depend on domestic and regional cooperation," Annan told the first formal meeting of the so-called International Compact with Iraq, which aims to get more countries involved in Iraq's construction.

"The international community may not be able to ensure Iraq's success, but it can guarantee failure if it does not come through in time with sufficient support," he said at the meeting, attended by the five UN Security Council permanent members - the US, Russia, China, France and Britain.

The compact, launched in July, received support from the United States and other UN members and was first discussed in Abu Dhabi last week by Iraqi and some Arab officials, who gave it direction and content.

Monday's meeting was attended by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and UN Deputy Secretary- General Mark Malloch Brown co-chair the compact.

European Union and Arab League officials also attended the meeting at UN headquarters.

The compact provides the opportunity for international cooperation with Baghdad to rebuild the war-torn country. Annan said the compact also provides "the framework for a defined, prioritized and benchmarked economic programme for the next five years."

Annan said the compact should be fully written by year's end and must be "balanced by the equally great need for it to be well- developed, substantive and sustainable."

To ensure success of the compact, Annan urged Baghdad to reach out to neighbouring countries and the world.

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur