Remarks by Chairman Margaret Beckett Following the G8 Meeting of Foreign Minister held in Potsdam

May 31, 2007

... Yesterday, the Foreign Secretary attended the G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Potsdam where she discussed several international issues with colleagues. The text of the Chairman's statement that issued after the meeting is below:


G8 Foreign Ministers met in Potsdam on 30 May to discuss a range of global and regional issues. The meeting focussed on Kosovo, the situation in the Middle East, Afghanistan, Sudan and Iran as well as North Korea. We met with Foreign Minister Kasuri of Pakistan and Foreign Minister Spanta of Afghanistan to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, cooperation between their countries and how the G8 can support such cooperation. On this subject, we issued a joint statement with our colleagues from Afghanistan and Pakistan. We also exchanged views on Iraq, Nagorno-Karabakh, the situation in Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Somalia. We issued a joint declaration on the promotion of the Rule of Law.

. . .

Foreign Ministers reiterated their profound concerns over the proliferation implications of the Iranian nuclear programme. We remain committed to a negotiated solution which would address the international concerns over Iran's nuclear programme and are united in our commitment to see the proliferation implications of Iran's nuclear programme resolved. We endorse the Statement made by the Foreign Ministers of China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, with the support of the High Representative of the European Union, on the occasion of the adoption of UNSC Res. 1747 and express our disappointment over Iran's failure so far to engage on the proposals contained therein which would include cooperation with Iran on civil nuclear energy, legally-binding guarantees on the supply of nuclear fuel, and wider political security and economic cooperation and, hence, would bring far reaching benefits to Iran and the region. Such Iranian engagement would provide a means to address the international community's concerns while taking account of Iran's legitimate interests in building a modern civilian nuclear programme for energy diversification purposes.

We urge Iran to comply with its international obligations and UNSC Res. 1696, 1737 and 1747, in particular its obligation to suspend all enrichment related activities, and deeply deplore the fact that, as evidenced by the IAEA Director General's latest report to the Security Council, Iran has expanded its enrichment programme. Should Iran continue not to heed the call of the Security Council, we shall support further appropriate measures as agreed in UNSCR 1747.

Foreign Ministers call on Iran to play a more responsible and constructive role in the Middle East region and in particular to accept a solution based on two states, Palestine and Israel, existing side by side in peace and security. We welcome Iran's participation at the neighbouring countries' conference on Iraq in Sharm El Sheikh and hope that Iran will contribute to efforts to reach stability in Iraq. We condemn the threats towards Israel by the Iranian government and the repeated denial of the Holocaust by representatives of the Iranian government.

. . .