British FM: change of government in Iraq - not goal of foreign policy
Weapons inspectors are the best way of reducing the threat posed by Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, UK Foreign Minister Jack Straw said Thursday. Military action had to remain an option but the possibility of an attack would "recede" if other ways of tackling the risk of Iraq were found, he said.
A change of government in Iraq would be welcomed, stated Straw, but it was not the goal of British foreign policy. The British minister suggested it was "jumping the gun" to be talking of an attack on Iraq now.
Straw told BBC Radio 4's Today program: "If Saddam Hussein allows weapons inspectors back without condition, without restriction and when they are allowed to do their job properly, then the circumstances will change.
"What everybody is concerned about is, yes, it's a terribly bad regime, but particularly about the threat Saddam poses from both his capability and his record to the security of the region and the security of the world. "The best way of trying to isolate and reduce that threat is by the introduction of weapons inspectors."
On Wednesday, U.S. President, George W. Bush repeated his assertion that Iraqi "regime change is in the interests of the world". But he promised to consult with his allies before making any decisions.
On his part, Straw said Saddam Hussein would be "removed by divine intervention" if his prayers were answered. He played down claims that Washington was set on war. "I don't believe, from all my discussions with the Americans, that military action is the option of choice," he said. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)