Alexander Downer: Other nations must now step forward to support Iraq

From a speech at the International Institute of Strategic Studies in London by the Australian Foreign Minister
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The Independent Online

The coalition's purpose was to rid Iraq and the world of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction, following his serial flouting of UN Security Council resolutions and his persistent refusal to comply with the demands of the international community. The Australian government is proud to have played its part in these efforts. We remain committed to the noble and just cause of a free, democratic and prosperous Iraq.

The coalition's purpose was to rid Iraq and the world of the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction, following his serial flouting of UN Security Council resolutions and his persistent refusal to comply with the demands of the international community. The Australian government is proud to have played its part in these efforts. We remain committed to the noble and just cause of a free, democratic and prosperous Iraq.

Iraqis will now take the lead in shaping their country's future. But we should not fool ourselves that this will be easy. Iraqis ... can't do it alone. To cut and run would not just be a snub to the requests of the interim Government. It would deliver terrorists a victory with terrible consequences for us all. The Australian government recognises the need to stay the course.

The international effort, however, must broaden its commitment. United Nations' Security Council Resolution 1546 is a welcome break from the past. Other members of the international community must also now come forward to support the Iraqi government with the practical assistance and resources the UN needs to fulfil its mandate.

Beyond Iraq ... in the Asia Pacific region, Jemaah Islamiah and other terrorist groups are not yet defeated. We must remain steadfast in our practical cooperation. But we must also increase our efforts to fight terrorism on the battleground of ideas. With terrorists seeking to acquire WMD, the threat posed by WMD proliferation is more acute than ever.

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