Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2005-07-06-Speech-3-012"

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". Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, after years of oppression and deprivation of freedom, and the prevailing difficulties notwithstanding, the people of Iraq now have a chance of a peaceful and free future. It is an opportunity we must do everything in our power to seize. The window of opportunity that we have for change in Iraq will not be open for ever. Let us make good use of it for the people’s benefit! What does this mean in terms of trade policy? Firstly, my committee welcomes the strategy proposed by the Commission for involvement in Iraq, calling on all parties to help transform the country into a diversified market economy. Secondly, Iraq’s planned accession to the WTO is a crucial step in integrating the country into the global economy, although the economic and administrative structures for this have yet to be created. Thirdly, reconstruction must involve a leading and coordinating role for the United Nations. Fourthly, Iraq possesses many natural resources, particularly its reserves of oil. It is not least in our interest that the trade in oil and natural gas be resumed; as it will help secure our energy supplies to a considerable degree, it is important to both sides that legislation be approximated in the energy sector, too, and that adequate conditions under which investment can take place be established. It has to be said, though, that sustainable reconstruction is inconceivable if the proceeds are not reinvested in Iraq. Fifthly, as regards international financial aid or the cancellation of debt, there must be close cooperation between the partners involved. There also – and this is my sixth point – needs to be close cooperation between Iraq and its neighbours, on which the development of a favourable investment climate across the region as a whole depends. I will conclude by thanking the members of the lead committee, the Committee on Foreign Affairs, for adopting our opinion with scarcely any reservations."@en1

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