|Statement by Ambassador Zhang Jun at the Security Council Meeting on Iraq|
At the outset, I thank SRSG Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert for her briefing. Once again, I thank the representative of Belgium and his team for the outstanding work during their presidency last month. I also thank you all for your kind words and confidence in China. We look forward to working closely with you in a joint effort to complete the tasks for March in discharge of our responsibilities.
At present, the peace, stability and reconstruction of the state of Iraq is at a critical stage. Against the bigger backdrop of escalating tension in the Middle East and the Gulf region, it is particularly important to safeguard Iraq's national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. All countries should fully respect the will of the Iraqi people and support the Iraqi government in properly addressing the internal and external challenges and achieving economic recovery, peace, stability, national reconstruction and national reconciliation. In this connection, I would like to emphasize the following points:
First, a good atmosphere should be created for political dialogue and national reconciliation in Iraq. As the internal political process in Iraq is at an important juncture, the international community should support Iraq in independently managing its own internal affairs and responding to the challenges by playing a constructive role and creating an enabling environment. We are firmly against interference in Iraq's internal affairs. Any military action on Iraqi territory must be subject to the consent of the government of the country to avoid Iraq becoming a victim of geopolitics. Engaging in peaceful and meaningful dialogue towards inclusive reconciliation and harmonious coexistence is in the fundamental interest of the Iraqi people. We welcome further improvement of relations between the central government of Iraq and the Kurdish regional government as well as their continuation of communication and dialogue on oil, revenue sharing and security arrangements.
Second, we should support Iraq in consolidating the achievements in counter-terrorism and safeguarding national security. Iraq has made great sacrifice for the international cause of counter-terrorism. Yet, the threat of remnant forces of terrorism still remains, and the disposal of foreign terrorist fighters and their families is in urgent need of support from all parties. The international community should fully respect Iraq's sovereignty and jurisdiction, and support Iraq in bringing terrorists to justice in accordance with relevant domestic laws and in preventing the return and spread of terrorist forces and activities. We should support the United Nations Investigative Team to Promote Accountability for Crimes Committed by Da'esh/ISIL in actively working under its mandate and in close consultation with the government of the country concerned.
Third, we should actively promote Iraq's economic recovery and accelerated reconstruction. Development is the fundamental guarantee for peace. Speeding up economic reconstruction, augmenting public service capacity, improving people's livelihood and responding to people's aspirations are important tasks for Iraq in its current development. The international community should firmly support Iraq in exploring a development path that fits its own national conditions and fulfill in earnest its commitments to continue support and assistance to Iraq, help the country with its economic recovery, alleviate the humanitarian situation and effectively protect the rights of vulnerable groups, including women and children. China supports UNAMI in continuing its work and hopes that it will, in accordance with its mandate, support the Iraqi government's efforts for stability and development and respect Iraq's ownership of its own affairs.
China supports any effort that is conducive to maintaining stability and development in Iraq. We will continue to work under the Belt and Road framework by actively participating in the reconstruction of Iraq's energy and infrastructure sectors, among others, helping Iraq strengthen its capacity-building, training more professional and technical people, and enhancing its capacity for self-development. China will also continue to provide humanitarian items and economic aid to Iraq and help the Iraqi people cope with various difficulties and challenges, improve the humanitarian situation, and achieve lasting peace, stability and development.