Iran presents plan to resolve Iraq crisis

This is from the Tehran Times. I doubt that Iran will get a timetable for foreing troop withdrawal! No doubt everyone will agree with reconstruction efforts but I doubt that the US will be sending any Blackwater employees to the International Court of Justice. It does not recognise the court. I expect that Iraq doesn't either or it would not getting aid from the US.

Iran presents plan to resolve Iraq crisis
Istanbul conference pledges support for Iraqi government

ISTANBUL (Agencies) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki here on Saturday presented Iranian plan to help resolve Iraqi crisis, IRNA reported.

In his address to the international conference on Iraq's stability and security, Mottaki said the Iraqi crisis has three aspects: security, political and economic.

Mottaki said that the security aspect should be resolved through setting a timetable for withdrawal of occupiers by the United Nations.

He said that the Iraqi government should be empowered to administer state affairs and any military missions should require a request from the Iraqi government to that effect.

Mottaki said that Iraqi national security forces must undertake military missions since they have proved in practice that they can conduct such missions carefully averting civilian losses.

""Provinces where Iraqi security forces have undertaken the task enjoy tranquility. We believe that the Iraqi government should be free as an independent state to buy arms to equip its armed forces and the police seriously,"" Mottaki said.

He pointed to organized crimes perpetrated by terrorist groups as the main cause of tension between Iraq and its neighbors.

He said that the Iraqi people suffer from wrongdoings of private security companies and many innocent civilians have fallen victims to their attacks calling for expelling Blackwater security company and the International Criminal Court (ICC) take legal action those involved in killing Iraqi civilians.

Mottaki said that the political aspect of the Iraqi crisis needs collective assistance of regional states and reopen their embassies in Iraq as quickly as possible.

""Iraqi Constitution should be respected and the political concerns which created divisions among the Iraqi nation, such as fair distribution of oil wealth and the subject of Kirkuk, should be put off for two years.""

The Iranian foreign minister said that in order to deal with Iraqi economic crisis, the international community must help Iraqi reconstruction efforts and deal with plight of the Iraqi refugees by helping their repatriation.

He said that Iraq's neighboring states are expected to help Iraqi government overcome shortages in electricity and gas supplies and oil derivatives.

Mottaki said that four major states in the region -- Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iran and Turkey along with the United Nations are expected to help implement Iranian plan on Iraq.

Istanbul conference pledges support for Baghdad government

The international conference on Iraq closed Saturday with two dozen nations and organizations pledging to support the U.S.-backed government in Baghdad and help take action against terrorism, AP said.

In a final declaration adopted by the conference, Iraq's neighbors and regional trading partners along with representatives from the European Union, the Group of Eight industrialized nations and the UN Security Council's permanent members also vowed to help prevent the passage of illegal arms into Iraq, and ensure tighter control of borders with Iraq.

The final statement called for further talks on issues of security, energy and displaced persons.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon cited the ethnic conflict in Iraq and a growing refugee problem.

“Iraq today is faced with an extremely complicated web of overlapping, ethnic conflicts,” Ban said. “An increased level of displacement is already causing humanitarian crisis.”

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, more than 2 million Iraqis have fled their country. They include 1.2 million in Syria, 750,000 in Jordan, 100,000 in Egypt, 54,000 in Iran, 40,000 in Lebanon and 10,000 in Turkey.

Ban said September and October saw the lowest number of killed civilians in Iraq. He urged the government to take advantage of this trend to “transform political and military development to a broader national reconciliation” between Iraq's ethnic groups.

Iraq leader vows clampdown on Kurd rebels

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki vowed on Saturday to clamp down on Kurdish rebels based in his country as the threat of a Turkish cross-border military strike overshadowed international talks on efforts to stabilize Iraq.

Maliki's government said specific measures had been ordered against the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and a regional official told AFP the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq on Saturday began closing the offices of a political group linked to the PKK.

Turkey has massed troops along its frontier with Iraq, and the Istanbul gathering of Western powers and Iraq's neighbors has focused on heading off military action.

Turkey's threat to launch a cross-border operation was at the center of talks on the sidelines of the conference between U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ali Babacan, and his Iraqi counterpart Hoshyar Zebari.

In his speech to the conference, Maliki backed efforts to prevent ""the infiltration of terrorists"" across the border.

""We place great importance on our relations with our brother Turkey... We are aware of the scale of the threat,"" he said.

""We have made a definite decision to close down the offices of the PKK in Iraq. We are taking strong measures,"" he said.

A senior official in Iraqi Kurdistan said authorities there had closed the offices of Kurdistan Democratic Solution Party which he said ""sympathizes with the PKK.""

Iraqi government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said new ""security measures"" to curb the PKK and cut off its logistical support had started Saturday.

Turkey has demanded the arrest and extradition of PKK leaders and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan again called for tough action in his speech to the conference.

""The fact that terrorist organizations based in certain regions of Iraq cause harm to neighboring countries is a matter... that requires urgent and substantial measures,"" he said.

""It is of vital importance for Iraq as well as its neighbors that Iraq establishes internal security and stability while also maintaining its territorial integrity.""

He said neighboring countries must help Iraq end its strife. But he warned: ""No one can feel safe unless everybody feels safe.""

UN secretary general told the conference that it was ""unacceptable"" for the PKK to use Iraq as a springboard for attacks inside Turkey.

He called for cooperation between Ankara and Baghdad to secure their common frontier to prevent infiltration by PKK rebels.

""The need to secure borders cannot be overemphasized,"" he said. ""It is clearly unacceptable that Iraqi territory is used to mount attacks (in Turkey) and we understand the concerns of Turkey.""

Ankara has acknowledged that Maliki is trying to help Turkey, but his embattled government has little authority in northern Iraq, where the Iraqi Kurds run an autonomous administration.

Ankara accuses the Iraqi Kurdish leadership of harboring and aiding the PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Ankara and much of the international community.

The dispute has dominated Maliki's attempts to attract greater international backing for his efforts to bring peace throughout Iraq.

But Maliki sought to reassure the international community.

""Ethnic violence is decreasing... The civil war that Al-Qaeda wanted to spark has been prevented,"" he told the conference.

""Iraq has overcome the period of danger and is stronger and more experienced today,"" he said.

Maliki asked for more international support for his government's efforts at economic reconstruction and at quashing daily violence.

The Istanbul conference is the second in a bid to help Iraq find ways of resolving its energy crisis and address the plight of four million Iraqis who are either displaced internally or have fled to Jordan and Syria


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