For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
The White House
November 26, 2007
The U.S. and Iraqi “Declaration of Principles” is a shared statement of intent that establishes common principles to frame our future relationship. This moves us closer to normalized, bilateral relations between our two countries. With this declaration, leaders of Iraq and the United States commit to begin negotiating the formal arrangements that will govern such a relationship.
- Iraq’s leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America, and we seek an enduring relationship with a democratic Iraq. We are ready to build that relationship in a sustainable way that protects our mutual interests, promotes regional stability, and requires fewer Coalition forces.
- In response, this Declaration is the first step in a three-step process that will normalize U.S.-Iraqi relations in a way which is consistent with Iraq’s sovereignty and will help Iraq regain its rightful status in the international community – something both we and the Iraqis seek. The second step is the renewal of the Multinational Force-Iraq’s Chapter VII United Nations mandate for a final year, followed by the third step, the negotiation of the detailed arrangements that will codify our bilateral relationship after the Chapter VII mandate expires.
- The UN Chapter VII resolution that is binding under international law gives the MNFI legal authorization to “take all necessary measures to preserve peace and security”. Both the U.S. and Iraq are committed to Iraq moving beyond an international presence based on a UN Security Council Chapter VII mandate.
- Iraqis have expressed a desire to move past a Chapter VII MNFI mandate and we are committed to helping them achieve this objective.
- After the Chapter VII mandate is renewed for one year, we will begin negotiation of a framework that will govern the future of our bilateral relationship.
The Declaration Is A Continuation Of A Commitment That Began This August
The governments of Iraq and the United States are committed to developing a long-term relationship as two fully sovereign and independent states with common interests.
- The August 26 Communiqué signed by the five political leaders – Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, the three members of the Presidency Council, and Kurdish leader Ma’sud Barzani – on August 26, 2007, and endorsed by President Bush states: “The leaders considered it important to link the renewal of UN Resolution 1723 for another year with a reference to the ending of Iraq’s Chapter VII status under the UN Charter and the concomitant resumption of Iraq’s normal status as a state with full sovereignty and authorities and the restoration of Iraq’s legal international status, namely the status that it had before UN Resolution 661 of 1990. In this context, the leaders affirmed the necessity of reaching a long term relationship with the American side … that is built on common interests and covers the various areas between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America. This goal should be realized in the near future.”
- President Bush endorsed the August 26th communiqué:
- President Bush: “I welcome and accept the expressed desire of the Iraqi leadership to develop a long-term relationship with the United States based on common interests. The United States is committed to developing this relationship and to strengthening diplomatic, economic, and security ties with the Iraqi government and its people.” (President George W. Bush, Remarks, Kirtland AFB, NM, 8/27/07)
- President Bush: Iraq’s leaders “understand that their success will require U.S. political, economic, and security engagement that extends beyond my presidency. These Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America. And we are ready to begin building that relationship – in a way that protects our interests in the region and requires many fewer American troops.” (President George W. Bush, Address to the Nation, The White House, 9/13/07)
The Declaration Sets The U.S. And Iraq On A Path Toward Negotiating Agreements That Are Common Throughout The World
The U.S. has security relationships with over 100 countries around the world, including recent agreements with nations such as Afghanistan and former Soviet bloc countries.
The relationship envisioned will include U.S.-Iraqi cooperation in the political, diplomatic, economic and security arenas. The United States and Iraq intend to negotiate arrangements based upon a range of principles:
- Political and Diplomatic: The U.S. and Iraq have committed to strengthening Iraq’s democratic institutions, upholding the Iraqi Constitution, supporting Iraqi national reconciliation, and enhancing Iraq’s position in regional and international organizations, so that it may play a constructive role in the region.
- Economic: Both countries have agreed to support the development of Iraqi economic institutions and further integration into international financial institutions, to encourage all parties to abide by their commitments made in the International Compact with Iraq, to assist Iraq in its efforts to recover illegally exported funds and properties and to secure debt relief, and to encourage the flow of foreign investments to Iraq.
- Security: To support the Iraqi government in training, equipping, and arming the Iraqi Security Forces so they can provide security and stability to all Iraqis; support the Iraqi government in contributing to the international fight against terrorism by confronting terrorists such as Al-Qaeda, its affiliates, other terrorist groups, as well as all other outlaw groups, such as criminal remnants of the former regime; and to provide security assurances to the Iraqi Government to deter any external aggression and to ensure the integrity of Iraq’s territory.
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