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Statement by Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing of the People's Republic of China at Foreign Ministers' Meeting on Iraq

New York, 18 September 2006

Mr. Chairman,

Dear Colleagues,

China congratulates the Iraqi people on successfully completing the political transition process set forth in Security Council Resolution 1546 after overcoming numerous difficulties and, in particular, on the successful election of the constitutional government of Iraq. This is indeed a remarkable achievement. We hope that with the assistance of the international community, the Iraqi people will be able to enjoy peace and security and embark on a path of stability and development at an early date.

China hopes to see an Iraq of national reconciliation. Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people, whether they are Shiites or Sunnis, Arabs or Kurds. The Iraqi people should put the overall interest of themselves above anything else, show respect and understanding for each other, and be tolerant to and trust each other. They should keep the momentum of dialogue and consultation and move forward the process of national reconciliation. It is here where the fundamental solution to the Iraqi issue lies. China supports the Arab states in their efforts to help achieve national reconciliation in Iraq. We call on all countries to respect the choice independently made by the Iraqi people and refrain from interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq.

China hopes to see an Iraq that is peaceful and stable. Military means alone will not solve the problems, and violence or terrorism will bring no security. All factions and organizations in Iraq should renounce the use of force and settle their differences through peaceful and democratic means. The international community should make constructive efforts to help Iraq adopt effective security measures and reform its security agencies so that they can promptly discharge the responsibility of maintaining security in Iraq.

China hopes to see an Iraq where human rights are respected. We are concerned about the worsening human rights situation in Iraq, in particular, the lack of basic guarantee for the lives of women, children and the elderly. Such a situation, if left unaddressed, will undermine the very foundation of the national reconciliation process and take away people's confidence in the future of Iraq. To promote human rights and restore the rule of law should be a key priority for the new Iraqi Government. China endorses the proposals made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, including the establishment of an independent national human rights commission, and a center for the missing and disappeared persons as well as the development of a comprehensive strategy for transitional justice.

China hopes to see an Iraq that enjoys economic development. The international community should honor its commitment of providing reconstruction assistance to Iraq and enhance coordination to help Iraq restore and improve its "blood-making" capability. At the same time, it should undertake projects that yield fast results. We support the International Compact with Iraq and hope that the relevant mechanisms will be widely representative and inclusive and will give full play to the leading role of the United Nations.

It is China's consistent position that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Iraq should be upheld and that the Iraqi issue should be resolved through political means so that Iraq will be governed by the Iraqi people. We support the United Nations in playing the important role due to it in the reconstruction of Iraq and hope that all parties will create conditions to this end. The Iraqi people fully deserve the benefits of peace and development as early as possible, which is the right of every country and every nation. We hope that this day will come for our fraternal Iraqi people before too long.

Thank you.

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