Council Conclusions on Iraq: 2800th External Relations Council meeting

Brussels, 14 May 2007. The Council adopted the following conclusions:

"1. The Council warmly welcomes the fact that the Iraq conferences in Sharm El Sheikh took place successfully on 3 and 4 May 2007 with very broad international participation. It congratulates all parties that have worked hard to make the conferences a success, in particular Egypt as the host country. The results of the conferences are encouraging and hopefully will contribute to an improvement of the situation in Iraq.

2. The Council commends the Iraqi Government for the ambitious commitments it has made in the "International Compact with Iraq", which was endorsed on 3 May, to promote reforms in the political, security, economic and social fields. The implementation of these commitments will be central in developing co-operation between Iraq and all its international partners. Progress towards these targets will help to further enhance the EU's engagement with Iraq. The Council underlines its appreciation for the UN's continued assistance to Iraq including in the Compact process.

3. The Council welcomes the Ministerial conference of Iraq's Neighbouring Countries with international participation, including the EU. The international community, and in particular the States in the region, have a responsibility to support and promote the difficult process of national reconciliation and stabilisation in Iraq, and to prevent outside interference that could undermine this process. The Council expresses its hope that the conference give rise to a long-term process of regional confidence building through dialogue and co-operation. It underlines in this context the importance of an effective and result-oriented follow-up mechanism, including the early convening of the agreed working groups on security, refugees and energy. The European Union is ready to assist and provide expertise in this process."