Opening Remarks by H.E. Prof. Ahmet Davutoğlu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey at the Security Council Meeting on Iraq

Ahmet Davutoğlu 18.06.2009
Before proceeding with the item 2 of the agenda, I would like to say a few words in my national capacity on the importance of this meeting from Turkey's point of view.

As we all know, Iraq has been on the Security Council's agenda for almost two decades now and this Chamber has stood witness to many significant milestones in the history of Iraq.

For the last six years in particular, the Security Council has been an important forum where the international community has reviewed and responded to various challenges facing the new Iraqi regime, and in fact the entire UN membership for that purpose.

Indeed, this is where the roadmap to stability and security in Iraq has been devised and the commitment of the UN and the international community to help Iraq along this path has been reconfirmed time and again.

That said, as Iraq has taken encouraging strides towards achieving the objectives set forth in numerous Security Council resolutions and assumed increasing ownership of its future, the discussions in the Council has in time become more of a rather stocktaking nature.

And this is actually a welcome development. In fact, we look forward to the time where Iraq will not be discussed as an issue of concern for the maintenance of international peace and security, but where Iraq itself will contribute to regional and global peace and security on its own merits. And we feel that we are getting closer to this point.

In light of the foregoing, one may see today's meeting merely as one of those regular discussions on the situation in Iraq. Whereas, Iraq today is passing through a critical point in time with various challenges still standing in the way towards a more stable and prosperous future. Assumption of the security responsibilities from the MNF-I and holding of the next national elections are two examples that immediately come to mind.

Thus, reaffirmation of the support of the UN and the international community at this particular moment is critical. Indeed, we need to acknowledge the good work done by the Iraqi Government and people, and express our readiness and willingness to stand with them in tackling the challenges lying ahead.

This is why we have seen this regular debate on the basis of the Secretary-General's quarterly report as a golden opportunity to do so and thus convey a strong message of support by the Council.

Being a neighbor and a strategic partner of Iraq, we felt that Turkey's Presidency of the Council during this meeting makes it even more meaningful. At least, that is how we see it and this is why I traveled to New York for the second time in less than 15 days in order to be present in this important discussion.

I am looking forward to a lively exchange where we will hopefully confirm in unequivocal terms our commitment to the territorial integrity, unity and political sovereignty of Iraq, living at peace with itself and its neighbors.

Now, without further ado, let me resume my functions as the President and continue with the order of business.