Istanbul, 29. June 2004 Press release

Ferrero-Waldner: NATO summit means that a new chapter starts for Iraq

29.06.2004

Foreign Minister comments on the development in Iraq

Istanbul, 29 June 2004 - At the NATO summit in Istanbul Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner commented on the present development in Iraq with cautious optimism. "An important step has been taken by transferring sovereignty to Iraq’s transitional government ", said Ferrero-Waldner. "It is of fundamental significance that the partner states have declared their willingness to open a new chapter in Iraq and to make a contribution to a positive development of the grief-stricken country. We should bear in mind that Iraq is an important country in the region, and all those who are interested in a stabilisation of the situation should do everything within their power to help the new government", stated the Foreign Minister.

Ferrero-Waldner added that Austria’s activities obviously focused on South Eastern Europe, whose political stability and peaceful development was crucial both to Austria and Europe. The Foreign Minister also explained: "The participants in the summit have expressed their appreciation for our contribution to stability in South Eastern Europe. Austria has also been engaged in military missions in Bosnia and Kosovo and does its utmost to contribute to the favourable political and economic development of the entire region."