Moscow rejects new U.S. draft resolution on Iraq; Blix says Baghdad can avoid war
Russia's foreign minister, Igor Ivanov, hosted Tuesday a senior U.S. diplomat and the chief U.N. weapons inspector for talks on Iraq. At the end of the talks, Ivanov said the new U.S. draft of a United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq does not meet the criteria that Russia considers important.
Ivanov's statement to Russian reporters was the Kremlin's official reaction to the U.S. proposal presented on Monday to the other four permanent members of the Security Council. "The American draft resolution, which was presented yesterday, does not answer the criteria (for resolution of the Iraq crisis) which the Russian side laid out earlier and which it confirms today," Ivanov was quoted as saying.
Ivanov had separate meetings with U.S. Undersecretary of State John Bolton and chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix that will focus on Iraq.
Earlier, the ITAR-Tass and Interfax news agencies quoted unidentified "informed" sources in Moscow on Monday as saying that the revised U.S. draft "differs little from previous U.S.-British proposals" that Russia and other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council did not accept.
The reports quoted the same sources as saying that the new version did not make good on Washington's promises to take other nations' opinions into account and reach a "mutually acceptable compromise."
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Georgy Mamedov said Monday after talking to Bolton that the U.S. warnings about possible use of force against Iraq "don't help to create a constructive atmosphere in the world for solving military security issues." Interfax quoted Bolton as saying that U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell would discuss the wording of the resolution with the Russian Foreign Minister.
On his part, Blix said on Tuesday that Iraq could avoid war if it cooperated with monitors due to determine whether it holds weapons of mass destruction. "I think that if the Iraqis help and cooperate to create confidence that there remain no weapons of mass destruction, then I think there will be no war," Blix told reporters on arrival in Moscow. (Albawaba.com)
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