of the Atlantic Summit
A Vision for Iraq and the Iraqi People
The Azores, Portugal
March 16, 2003
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 democracy.
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.