Asked what practical steps were being proposed to help unite Iraq, the PMOS said that whenever we were in Iraq it was clear that the new government strategy broke down into three parts. First was reconciliation within Iraq itself and that had been started by having Sunnis, Shia and Kurds in the Government itself, elected by the people. Second was restoring the economic infrastructure of the country. That obviously played into security as well, because you had to have security of energy supplies and so on. Third Iraq needed to get international help so that the Iraqi government could deliver for the people. People would work up ideas and something like an international donors conference was an issue on the agenda. He wasn’t going to go into the detail but both the President and the Prime Minister were both aware of the need to try and help Iraq as much as possible. The basic point came down to the fact that we now had a democracy in Iraq. That was what was different now. We had a government which reflected that democracy. Therefore the Prime Minister’s argument was that we should come behind that democracy and support it.
Asked if now that we had sorted out Iraq we might turn our attention to places like Burma and Saudi Arabia, the PMOS said that the phrase in the Prime Minister’s speech was "where you can" – what we shouldn’t do is automatically say that the same approach worked in every different circumstance because it didn’t. What you should do was recognise that these were not just Western values but global values we were talking about and that we should try and promote those values where you could. As both the Prime Minister and the President said in their press conference last night, everyone still recognised the enormous challenges in Iraq. Equally people should recognise the enormous change that had happened in having a democratically elected, representative government.
Briefing took place at 6:00 | Search for related news
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