President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr Prime Minister,
Dear friends and colleagues.
Let me wish you a warm welcome to Moscow.
We are very glad to see you in Russia. Thank you for the greetings that you passed to me from our colleagues and friends in the United States and Arab countries. We are all watching the difficult processes happening in a country with which Russia has always been linked by friendly relations over a long period of time. In recent times, these relations have been free from any ideological slant. They have always been relations of friendship and mutual sympathy.
Today we hope that you and your colleagues will be able to bring the country out of the difficult situation which it finds itself in. You know how we feel about problems of terrorism, and we are united with you in your fight with these manifestations. We understand that the processes happening in Iraq today go beyond the framework of this problem.
We believe that today we will be able to discuss issues of bilateral interaction, and talk about what we, Russia, can do to support the friendly people of Iraq on the path towards restoring the economy of your country. We are also prepared to support all your efforts directed towards political stabilisation in your country. As you know, we supported resolution 1546 at the UN Security Council to organise elections in Iraq on 30 January next year. We see that there are forces that wish to disrupt this process, and the innocent civilian population of Iraq suffers in this fight. Quite honestly, I cannot imagine how elections can be organised when the country is completely occupied by foreign troops, and at the same time I cannot imagine how you alone can stop it from collapsing. I hope that we will be able to talk today on all these complex and contradictory issues. We welcome in this line the meeting of foreign ministers in Sharm-al-Sheikh. And finally, as you know, we supported the decision of the Paris Club and made the decision to write off a significant part of Iraq’s debts to the Russian Federation. Initially, when joining the Paris club we took on the responsibility to write off 65% of debts, then we endorsed the decision of the Paris club, which was made recently, and over 90% of debts will be written off. We are doing this from a feeling of solidarity with the friendly Iraq people. At the same time, we hope that the interests of our companies in the restoration process will be taken into account by your government and the future leadership of Iraq after the elections of 30 January next year. I hope that we are able to talk on these issues as well.
Welcome to Moscow.
Iyad Allawi (translation from Russian): First of all, allow me to express our gratitude for the hospitality that you have shown us here, on your own land. We are happy to be in Moscow, we are happy to be with the people who is friendly to us, and meet with the friendly Russian leadership. We are also happy that this visit serves to restore historical relations between two friendly peoples. We thank the Russian leadership for the position that it has taken in the Paris club on writing off our debts. This is a noble position. It is the position of a nation that is friendly to us, and we are proud of this. Undoubtedly, this helps Russia to play a leading role in restoring the Iraq economy and industry.
In connection with this, I must say that our country is going through a difficult period. We are facing malevolent manifestations of international and local terrorism, but we firmly believe in our victory, above all thanks to the durability of the Iraqi people, and also due to the position held by friendly nations and Arab countries. We hope that Iraq will emerge from this tragic situation as a strong victor.
We in Iraq intend to go forward with political process, to ensure the supremacy of law, respect of human rights and a diversity of political parties. We are also resolved to restore and build the defence potential of Iraq and potential in the security sphere, so that Iraq becomes a strong peace-loving nation, and helps the stability and development of the entire region, based on the important influence of Iraq on the state of affairs in the Middle East.
The second process where we hope to move forward is the restoration of our economy. Restoration and construction of various state institutions, national potential and reconstruction of the economy, moving it from state regulation to an open market economy. This is a priority for the current government of Iraq, society and political forces of the country.
Another task of the present government is the rebirth of Iraq and its return to the international community, and the return of the international community to our country, so that our country could play a constructive role on the international stage.