Iraq is striving to build a democratic State anchored in peace and the rule of law, with all communities living in harmony, irrespective of their sectarian, ethnic or factional affiliation, the country’s President, Jalal Talabani, told the General Assembly on Friday.

“This is the basis for the path which we are moving on and continually implementing,” Mr. Talabani told the annual general debate.

Stressing that Iraq had succeeded in getting rid of sanctions and restriction imposed as a consequence of the invasion of Kuwait by the Saddam Hussein regime, Mr. Talabani encouraged the international community to seek investment opportunities in the country in the fields of oil, natural gas and infrastructure.

“The economic policy of Iraq is based on encouraging investments and providing the appropriate legislative environment to protect investors and their capital,’ said Mr. Talabani.

He said Iraqi security forces had proved that they are capable of providing security and combating terrorism
when United States troops withdraw from the country at the end of the year.

Noting that Iraq’s foreign policy is based on the principle of good neighbourliness and respect of international obligations, Mr. Talabani urged Turkey and Iran to resort to diplomacy and dialogue to resolve their dispute with their Kurdish communities, and to refrain from bombing Iraqi territories in the Iraqi Kurdistan which he said was causing harm to innocent civilians.

Mr. Talabani said the Middle East should be a region free of weapons of mass destruction and urged Israel to join the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and put its nuclear facilities under the safeguards regime of the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).