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Summary: Statement by EU Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner: Appointment of new Iraqi Government
European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner, issued the following statement on the appointment of the new Iraqi government:
“The appointment of the new Iraqi government is very good news. The process has been long and cumbersome and I congratulate all those who have been pushing this process forward to bring about the formation of a national unity government. This will be a powerful instrument to help overcome sectarianism, and prevent violence hampering Iraqi development. We trust that efforts will continue to reach agreement on the remaining posts.
The Iraqis will not be alone in their next steps towards rebuilding their country. The European Commission will remain actively supportive of Iraqi efforts to build a prosperous and peaceful future. We hope to discuss soon with the new government our €200 million package of assistance for 2006, to improve basic services, consolidate democracy and to strengthen institutions.
We are also ready to start negotiations to establish contractual relations between the Union and Iraq as mandated by the EU member States. And we will be stepping up our presence through the opening of a Commission Delegation in Baghdad.
I particularly look forward to continue working with Hoshyar Zebari, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and deepening the political dialogue between the EU and Iraq in our future work together.”