Tuesday, November 29, 2005

What Iraq's neighbors say

With the final reformation election coming in December, let's see in the next few weeks "what Iraq's neighbors have to say" about the progress, deterioration and/or future of Iraq. I see Iraq's neighbors, out of necessity, being the ones that step-up and deal with the eventual resolution of the new Iraqi government once the Coalition members are forced, by popular opinion at home, to step aside.

Nov 23, 2005

Iranian supreme leader says no limit on cooperation with Iraq

Iranian Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei said here on Tuesday that there was no limit for Iran on the development of cooperation with Iraq, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"Iran is proud of Iraq's progress, security, independence and national strength and there is no limit on the development of cooperation with Iraq," Khamenei was quoted as saying at a meeting with visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.

Khamenei said Iran and Iraq enjoyed long-standing religious, cultural and historical affinity, stressing that Iran was pleased with the political process for the establishment of a democratic government in Iraq.

Khamenei called on the Iraqi nation to "leave behind the current ordeal" and foster national solidarity in order to pave the way for setting a timetable for the withdrawal of occupation forces.

—People's Daily Online (Source: Xinhua)

Nov 28, 2005

King (Abdullah II)'s remarks before the Euro-Med Summit...2nd LD

"Together, we must also end the sources of misunderstanding, division, and frustration. My friends, we must bring peace to the Middle East. In peacemaking - just as in reform - Jordan has consistently urged a measurable process, with milestones along the way, and a clear end-game."

"For Palestinians, for Israelis: a lasting, just solution...two states, living beside each other in peace and security... a sovereign, viable Palestinian state - security for Israel - and a comprehensive settlement that can bring regional reconciliation."

"For Iraqis, reconstruction and hope: a stable, unified Iraq, with a rebuilt economy, and an inclusive civil society. We urgently need to move forward. Violence and instability in the region are threats to security and prosperity for all our peoples. Working together, I believe we can help usher in a new and more positive era."

—Jordan News Agency

Nov 28, 2005

Saudi king says Iraq war benefited Iran

King Abdullah Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al Saud told a London-based Arabic daily that the United States-led war on Iraq benefited Iran’s clerical rulers.

"The result of the war in Iraq has been to the benefit of the Iranian regime", the Saudi King told the daily al-Hayat.

King Abdullah told the paper that Tehran had sent Riyadh several messages, explaining that Iran and Syria were under great international pressure and were heading for crises.

Tehran had reportedly requested Riyadh’s support in the face of U.S. pressure over its suspected nuclear weapons program, support for the insurgency in Iraq, and opposition to the Middle East peace process.

—Iran Focus

Meet all five of the key players in the Iraqi neighborhood:

Rahbar Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei, 4 June 1989, Iran

Emir Sheikh Jabir Al Ahmad Al Jabir Al Sabah, 31 December 1977, Kuwait

King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, 1 August 2005, Saudi Arabia

King Abdullah II, 7 February 1999, Jordan

President Bashar al-Assad, 17 July 2000, Syria

President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, 16 May 2000, Turkey

More coming as the international voice rolls in—as 2006 U.S. troop withdraw becomes eminent!