Iraq

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meets with world leaders ahead of Iraq Compact launch

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Ahead of tomorrow's formal launch of the International Compact with Iraq, a five-year peace and development plan for the war-ravaged country, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is meeting today with officials from the United States, Iraq and the League of Arab States in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

According to his spokesperson, Mr. Ban had a tête-à-tête with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in which they discussed Darfur, Kosovo, Lebanon the work of the Middle East Quartet and the Arab Peace Initiative, in addition to the Iraq Compact.

He is also scheduled to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa.

The International Compact, which Mr. Ban will launch along with Prime Minister al-Maliki, envisages a reciprocal relationship between peace-building and economic prosperity in Iraq.

Under the plan, the Government will work to meet basic needs, protect the rights of all citizens and ensure the optimal use of the country's resources for the common good. National reconciliation, improved security, better governance and continued economic and social reforms are expected to help unlock Iraq's own development potential and the Compact commits the country's international partners to provide financial, technical and political support to help meet these challenges on the basis of mutual commitments.

More than 50 countries are expected to participate in tomorrow's launch, with more than 20 represented at the ministerial level.