Russia is ready to help Iraq's Interim Government within the framework of international efforts and through bilateral channels, said Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov, who is attending the New York session of the UN Economic and Social Council.
Fedotov said the Russian Embassy in Baghdad "is energetically interacting with the new Iraqi authorities... We rely on our rich experience and the traditions of mutually beneficial trade and economic contacts with that country."
According to the deputy minister, "the interim government of Iraq has shouldered grave responsibility... It has a chance to justify the trust of the people and the international community and lead the country to democratic change."
On the other hand, much will depend on the ability of the interim government to "demonstrate to the people that the occupation was over and the new stage in Iraq's development differs substantially from the previous one. ...If the Iraqis feel the difference, they will support their government. If not, the situation can develop extremely negatively."
Fedotov said Moscow hopes that the new Baghdad government will act on the Russian offer of convening an international conference on Iraq with the participation of all political forces of the country and neighbouring states, which was confirmed in the recent UN Security Council Resolution 1556. "Such a conference would broaden the social and political foundations of the Iraqi government in the country and to rally broad support in the region," said the deputy minister.