Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York
ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN IRAQ , INCLUDING STOPOVER
IN KUWAIT , 12 - 13 NOVEMBER
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrived in Baghdad on Saturday morning, 12 November, to meet with the staff of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq and with a number of Iraqi leaders.
In a town hall meeting with national and international United Nations staff, he expressed his solidarity and the thanks of the Organization for the crucial work they are doing, in very trying circumstances, in assisting the Iraqi people during this period of political transition and reconstruction.
After meeting with the senior staff of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, the Secretary-General met with Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. He and the Prime Minister discussed, among other political developments, the initiative by the Arab League to convene a reconciliation conference for Iraq.
In comments to the press afterwards, the Secretary-General said the United Nations has had a long relationship with Iraq and will continue its efforts to help the Iraqi people. He said that the United Nations had been discreetly aiding the Iraqis, adding, “You have to remember that sometimes those who are not seen also serve.”
The Secretary-General then continued his rounds of consultations with separate meetings with Iraqi political leaders, starting with Deputy Prime Minister Rowsh Shaways and then Acting President Ghazi Al-Yawar. He also separately met leaders of a number of Iraqi political parties and communities, including former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. In his discussions, he underscored that the political transition process is extremely important and that this process must be inclusive and transparent and take into account the concerns of all groups.
He also heard from them of the varied expectations the Iraqi people have of the United Nations during this political process.
In speaking to the press just before leaving the Iraqi capital, the Secretary-General noted that, just as he arrived in Baghdad, a car bomb had exploded in a market, killing five people. “No ideology, no cause, can justify the killings or maiming of innocent civilians. It is murder. It is terrorism”, he said.
Asked how he felt returning to Baghdad, the site of the bombing of the Canal Hotel, he recalled the friends and colleagues, the best of the United Nations, who had come to Baghdad with only one purpose: helping the Iraqi people.
“They carried no guns”, he added, “they were not soldiers, they had not come to harm anyone. Their lives were cut short in a brutal manner.” The Secretary-General went on to say that the best way to honour their memory is for the United Nations to continue to do whatever it can to stabilize Iraq and to bring peace and prosperity.
The Secretary-General then flew out of Baghdad to Kuwait, where, upon arrival, he met with the Prime Minister, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. The Secretary-General briefed him on his day in Baghdad. They also discussed the Syria/Lebanon issue, as well as the Middle East.
On Sunday morning, prior to leaving Kuwait City, the Secretary-General met briefly at the airport with the Kuwaiti Foreign Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah, and spoke to the press.
The Secretary-General travelled that Sunday to Tunisia.
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notice: he travelled to Tunisia in smae day of discover Jadriya bunker in sunday 13-11-2005