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EU/Iraq /GNR/ EU wants to open new chapter in ties with Iraq

Brussels, June 7, IRNA

The European Commission presented Wednesday a strategy paper aimed at opening a new chapter in its relations with Iraq.

The proposed strategy identifies five objectives for EU support to Iraq for the next years:
Overcoming divisions within Iraq and building democracy, promoting rule of law and human rights, supporting the Iraqi authorities in the delivery of basic services and creation of more jobs, supporting reform of the public administration, and promoting economic reforms.

"The strategy we set out today is a firm pledge to support Iraq in the challenges ahead", said European Commissioner for External Relations, Benita Ferrero-Waldner.

"Change must be led and owned by the Iraqis themselves. Our support will be closely linked to the new government's commitment to building a stable, democratic country, and to an improvement of the security situation," she added in a statement.

The Commission will soon nominate a Head of the EU Delegation for Baghdad and step up its presence there.

The Commission in a statement said it has been the most significant donors supporting Iraq's political transition.

It has contributed 200 million euro in 2006 in addition to 518 million euro provided between 2003 and 2005 for reconstruction of the country.

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