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EU Proposes Strategy For Iraq Relations

Brussels, 9 June 2004 (RFE/RL) -- The European Commission today proposed a new medium-term framework for the development of EU relations with Iraq.

The proposal, which will need to be formally endorsed by EU member states, outlines EU objectives for the medium term.

Presenting the document, External Relations Commissioner Chris Patten summed up the bloc's hopes: "The paper proposes three medium-term objectives for developing our relations with Iraq. First, the development of a secure, stable, and democratic Iraq; second, the establishment of an open, sustainable, and diversified market economy; and third, Iraq's economic and political integration into its region and the international community."

The document does not allocate any extra funds for Iraq in addition to the 1.25 billion euros pledged by the commission and EU member states at the Madrid donors conference earlier this year.

However, Patten said, extra funds, know how, and closer political dialogue will all be on offer "as and when" Iraq progresses first to the handover of sovereignty on 30 June, then to provisional elections on 31 January next year, and finally to fully democratic elections before the end of next year.

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