Joint Declaration of Foreign Ministers of neighbor states to the Republic of Iraq
April 18, 2003

In response to an invitation by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to hold a meeting in order to examine the current developments in the area, the future of Iraq in the aftermath of the war, and the plans that are drawn up in this regard, the foreign ministers of the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Turkey, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Arab Republic of Syria, the State of Kuwait, the Arab Republic of Egypt, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, held a meeting in Riyadh on Friday, April 18, 2003. During this meeting the Ministers recalled the meeting in Istanbul on January 23, 2003, and discussed the option of dealing with the new realities in Iraq, on the basis of a common view that guarantees the unity, independence and sovereignty of Iraq over its territory.

In light of their discussions of this matter, the ministers, in unanimous agreement:


1- Underlined the obligations of the occupying powers under the Fourth Geneva Convention to maintain security and stability, including the protection of civil liberties and rights and the cultural heritage of the Iraqi people, and underlined their obligation to withdraw from Iraq and allow the Iraqis to exercise their right to self-determination.

2- Affirmed their commitment to the stability and territorial integrity of Iraq.

3- Affirmed that the Iraqi people should administer and govern their country by themselves, and any exploitation of their natural resources should be in conformity with the will of the legitimate Iraqi government and its people.

4- Expressed the hope for an early establishment of a broad-based and fully representative government in Iraq, in accordance with a constitution to be agreed upon and ratified by the people of Iraq; an Iraq living in peace with its neighbors, and respecting all existing international and bilateral treaties and agreements, especially with its neighbors.

5- Reaffirmed a central role for the United Nations in dealing with the situation in post-war Iraq.

6- Affirmed their countries' readiness to offer the Iraqi people all the assistance they need, including participation in any international effort in this regard, be it humanitarian assistance and/or the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Iraq.

7- Expressed their countries' disagreement with allegations directed towards Syria, and welcomed the news regarding the intention of the U.S. Secretary of State to visit Damascus to discuss Syrian-American relations.

8- Expressed their countries' support for the initiative of Syria before the Security Council to establish the Middle East as a zone free from weapons of mass destruction.

9- Decided to hold further meetings when needed until normalcy has returned to Iraq.