For Immediate Release
March 16, 2003
Statement of the Atlantic Summit: A Vision for Iraq and the Iraqi People
Iraq's talented people, rich culture, and tremendous potential have
been hijacked by Saddam Hussein. His brutal regime has reduced a
country with a long and proud history to an international pariah that
oppresses its citizens, started two wars of aggression against its
neighbors, and still poses a grave threat to the security of its region
and the world.
Saddam's defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions
demanding the disarmament of his nuclear, chemical, biological, and
long-range missile capacity has led to sanctions on Iraq and has
undermined the authority of the U.N. For 12 years, the international
community has tried to persuade him to disarm and thereby avoid
military conflict, most recently through the unanimous adoption of
UNSCR 1441. The responsibility is his. If Saddam refuses even now to
cooperate fully with the United Nations, he brings on himself the
serious consequences foreseen in UNSCR 1441 and previous resolutions.
In these circumstances, we would undertake a solemn obligation to
help the Iraqi people build a new Iraq at peace with itself and its
neighbors. The Iraqi people deserve to be lifted from insecurity and
tyranny, and freed to determine for themselves the future of their
country. We envisage a unified Iraq with its territorial integrity
respected. All the Iraqi people -- its rich mix of Sunni and Shiite
Arabs, Kurds, Turkomen, Assyrians, Chaldeans, and all others -- should
enjoy freedom, prosperity, and equality in a united country. We will
support the Iraqi people's aspirations for a representative government
that upholds human rights and the rule of law as cornerstones of
We will work to prevent and repair damage by Saddam Hussein's
regime to the natural resources of Iraq and pledge to protect them as a
national asset of and for the Iraqi people. All Iraqis should share
the wealth generated by their national economy. We will seek a swift
end to international sanctions, and support an international
reconstruction program to help Iraq achieve real prosperity and
reintegrate into the global community.
We will fight terrorism in all its forms. Iraq must never again be
a haven for terrorists of any kind.
In achieving this vision, we plan to work in close partnership with
international institutions, including the United Nations; our Allies
and partners; and bilateral donors. If conflict occurs, we plan to
seek the adoption, on an urgent basis, of new United Nations Security
Council resolutions that would affirm Iraq's territorial integrity,
ensure rapid delivery of humanitarian relief, and endorse an
appropriate post-conflict administration for Iraq. We will also
propose that the Secretary General be given authority, on an interim
basis, to ensure that the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people
continue to be met through the Oil for Food program.
Any military presence, should it be necessary, will be temporary
and intended to promote security and elimination of weapons of mass
destruction; the delivery of humanitarian aid; and the conditions for
the reconstruction of Iraq. Our commitment to support the people of
Iraq will be for the long term.
We call upon the international community to join with us in helping
to realize a better future for the Iraqi people.
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