Baghdad, Paris reject new British conditions for Iraq
Iraq's Foreign Minister Naji Sabri dismissed on Thursday British proposals for a revised draft United Nations resolution, saying they amounted to a plan for war.
"It is a dressing up of a rejected proposal, an aggressive plan for war. It polishes up a resolution rejected by the vast majority of the Security Council," Sabri told reporters.
Asked about divisions on the Security Council, Sabri said it wasn't divided at all. "These are not divisions. There is a majority on the Security Council rejecting the policy of war adopted by British and American evil," he said. "This majority adheres to peace."
Asked why the United States was insisting on a Security Council resolution authorizing war, Sabri said: "The United States with its policy of aggression wants international cover for this aggression."
Earlier, France rejected on Thursday a new proposal by Britain to impose six conditions on Baghdad in order for it to stave off war. These include a requirement that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein confess on national television that he has concealed weapons of mass destruction.
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said the new ideas do not address the key issue of seeking a peaceful solution to the crisis. "It's not a question of giving Iraq a few more days before committing to the use of force. It's about making resolute progress toward peaceful disarmament, as mapped out by inspections that offer a credible alternative to war."
Villepin said of the British ideas: "They do not answer the questions that the international community is asking."
"France backs the efforts of all the countries of the Security Council who want to give Iraq a realistic timeframe to disarm effectively in line with the spirit of (U.N.) resolution 1441," he said in the statement issued by his ministry.
"The success of disarmament demands full and total cooperation from the Iraqi authorities." "(France) backs the efforts of those who reject the logic of ultimatums and seek to set out a work program and precise timetable for the (disarmament) inspections," Villepin said.
China said it had taken note of the British proposal but no new UN Security Council resolution is necessary.
British UN ambassador Jeremy Greenstock presented the new proposals designed to maximise support for the draft resolution on behalf of Britain alone. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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