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Calmy-Rey criticises occupation of Iraq

Calmy-Rey has called for more power to the Iraqi peoples Keystone Archive

The Swiss foreign minister, Micheline Calmy-Rey, has criticised the occupation of Iraq by coalition forces, dubbing it counter-productive to achieving democracy in the region.

This content was published on June 22, 2003 - 17:07

Calmy-Rey also called for the role of the United Nations in post-war Iraq to be strengthened.

Addressing participants at the World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting in Jordan, the minister said occupying the country could only lead to more violent resistance.

She stressed that the Iraqis had a right to self-determination - to choose their own government and political system.

Calmy-Rey also said that Iraqis should be involved in all levels of decision-making as to their future and that all the people should benefit from oil revenues.

The minister also addressed the issue of an Iraqi constitution. She suggested its cornerstones should be sustainability, national unity, equality for women and protection of minority groups.

Spotlight on Middle East

Calmy-Rey also took part in a number of bilateral talks with government ministers from Germany, Spain, the Palestinian territories and Serbia, which centred on the situation in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan.

More than 1,200 delegates from 65 countries are participating at the WEF meeting in Shuneh, a resort on the Dead Sea.

Proceedings have been dominated by reconstructing Iraq and creating peace in the Middle East.

The last WEF meeting took place in the Swiss town of Davos earlier this year.

swissinfo with agencies

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