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Speaking on May 2 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln off San Diego, US President George W. Bush remarked that: "Major combat operations in Iraq have ended…

Speaking on May 2 aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln off San Diego, US President George W. Bush remarked that: “Major combat operations in Iraq have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.” The Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Eugene Chien welcomed the end of the war in Iraq and acknowledged the contributions that the coalition has made in protecting freedom and democracy from the threat of terrorism.

Minister Chien pointed out that, as a responsible member of the international community, Taiwan is not willing to see weapons of mass destruction disseminated and regional security endangered. The end of this war represents the beginning of a new era. It is a source of hope for the Iraqi people, and indeed for all freedom-loving people around the world who long for peace.

In order to help the Iraqi people overcome the devastation left by war, our government has committed NT$150 million in humanitarian relief. A variety of relief materials have been collected from the private sector. Minister Chien stated that, although the war is now over, the difficult task of rebuilding Iraq has just begun. The government of the Republic of China hopes that all ethnic groups in Iraq will work together to establish a democratically-elected government that will promote law and order for the benefit of all Iraqis. The people and government of the Republic of China will continue to participate in humanitarian relief efforts and post-war reconstruction in Iraq, and hope to continue to strengthen contacts and friendship with the Islamic world.

Minister Chien also pointed out that the international environment will have to go through some post-war readjustments. Considering how profound an impact the situation in the Middle East has on the global economy and on international politics, the government of the Republic of China is willing to contribute to the peace, stability and prosperity of that region. It also hopes that the global economy will recover and the international situation stabilize soon.

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