AFP: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday that he will co-chair the May 3-4 conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Iraq’s reconstruction along with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. UNITED NATIONS, April 26, 2007 (AFP) – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon announced Thursday that he will co-chair the May 3-4 conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt on Iraq’s reconstruction along with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.
“The international community should help the Iraqi people and government to restore peace and security,” Ban told reporters after returning from a trip to Europe and the Middle East.
“I hope that the international community will actively participate in this international conference,” he said.
Ministers from the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the Group of Eight and Iraq’s neighbors are to meet at the Sharm el-Sheikh resort to try to find ways to end Iraq’s bloodshed.
Iran has not confirmed it will participate.
Ban will remain at the resort after the event to meet cabinet ministers from Middle Eastern countries, according to a UN official.
The Sharm el-Sheikh conference is within the framework of the International Compact with Iraq, launched in Baghdad in July with UN and World Bank support.
The compact, which has strong support from Washington, has goals that include Iraq’s equal treatment of all its ethnic groups, an equitable partition of the country’s oil export revenues, and support for the government to fight corruption and practice good governance.
Asked if support for the compact could give the United States cover to retreat from Iraq, Ban said: “I think it’s not directly related.”
However “as security and freedom and peace will be settled in Iraq, I hope the United States government and the multinational force in Iraq will be able to discuss and consider the exit strategy,” he added.
Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi earlier presented at the UN headquarters an ambitious five-year plan to restore his country’s devastated economy, and called for help from nations to forgive Iraq’s foreign debt and invest in the country.