Press Releases

    SG/SM/10168
    IK/520
    18 October 2005

    Secretary-General Pays Tribute to Courage of Iraqi People Who Voted in Referendum, Notes Opportunity to Move away from Violence

    This is a statement issued on Saturday, 15 October, by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    NEW YORK, 17 October (UN Headquarters) -- For the second time this year, the people of Iraq have braved difficult conditions and the threat of violence to exercise their vote.  The referendum has been an important opportunity for the Iraqi people to express their political views.

    The Secretary-General pays tribute to the courage of the Iraqi people and congratulates the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, as well as the thousands of Iraqi election workers and monitors, on having organized and carried out the referendum in such challenging circumstances.

    The counting process is expected to take some time, so preliminary official results are unlikely to be available for at least several days.  Whatever the outcome, the Secretary-General believes that this referendum offers an opportunity for all Iraqis to move away from violence and to unite in a spirit of national reconciliation to build a democratic, unified and prosperous Iraq.  The United Nations will continue to do all it can to help the Iraqi people to that end.

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