SECRETARY CLINTON: Good afternoon. It is a pleasure for me to welcome the prime minister back to Washington to keep building and deepening the partnership between our nations. It is a partnership based on the goal of a sovereign, stable, and self-reliant Iraq, and guided by the terms of the Strategic Framework Agreement.
Today, the prime minister and I discussed a range of issues, and we agreed to establish a diplomatic joint coordinating committee under the Strategic Framework Agreement. In that committee, we will discuss all Chapter 7 issues that need to be resolved. Tomorrow’s U.S-Iraq Business and Investment Conference will be a very important priority for both of us. By bringing together business and government leaders from both countries, we hope to pave the way for greater international investment in Iraq and closer economic ties between us.
As Iraq emerges from conflict, the stability that is occurring will drive greater prosperity, which will help create a lasting peace and bring jobs that will lift families’ income and give Iraqis a greater opportunity to chart their own futures. I want to thank Prime Minister Maliki and the other Iraqi leaders who are here today for their leadership on this important conference and the issue, and I want to express our pleasure at seeing the recent amendments to Iraq’s national investment law.
We also discussed the upcoming national elections which are critical to Iraq’s future. Obviously, we are supporting the efforts to ensure that the elections are credible and legitimate, and that a new government is formed in a timely way to continue the peaceful stability and economic growth that is so important.
And finally, Mr. Prime Minister, I really salute the Iraqi people. They have withstood the challenges of sectarianism, violence, and terrorism. They have made tremendous sacrifices and have achieved the right for a secure and peaceful future of progress and prosperity. The United States remains committed to Iraq and the people of Iraq. PRIME MINISTER MALIKI:
In the name of God, peace be upon you. In this occasion, I take the opportunity to express my happiness and pleasure to be here inaugurating the investment conference between Iraq and America. We have met Mrs. Clinton, the Secretary of State, and it was the second meeting with Mrs. Clinton. The first one was in July this year. We had talks, and our talks, in fact, concentrated on the importance of activating the strategic agreement – framework agreement between Iraq and America.
This conference, which will be held tomorrow, and the strategic agreement between Iraq and America means that the relationship between Iraq are no more on the militant level. In fact, it moved to the economic level and other horizons. Iraq, in fact, attempts to inaugurate an extensive and comprehensive investment process, especially after the stability achieved in the country.
In addition, and besides the task of reconstruction, in fact, Iraq seeks and attempts to find revenues to find new ways for increasing and promoting its revenues to cover the cost of reconstruction. In fact, we have waited to carry out or to make amendments on the investment laws in Iraq. And this conference is – will be held after achieving these amendments. The governors and the representative of provincial councils will stay in the United States of America to coordinate and to strengthen the ties and relationships between the Iraqi governors and the American governors.
The meeting with Mrs. Clinton, in fact, was fruitful and very important. We have talked and tackled different issues related to Iraq and to different – to many issues, especially the problem of the Chapter 7. And we, in fact, discussed to get Iraq out of this chapter eventually. In fact, we have the same points of view and we have the same ambitions. And our ambitions for future are sure and as addressed. In fact, this means that we have succeeded in confronting and defeating terrorism, but we have another task, which is creating new opportunities, to create welfare and economic development. The next meeting, I hope it will be in Baghdad. Thank you very much. SECRETARY CLINTON:
Thank you. Thank you, sir. I will come back, but I’m going to walk out our guest.