Turkish PM Urges Iraq To Let In UN Inspectors
Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has sent a letter to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to warn him with regards to a possible U.S. military attack against his country and urged him to permit United Nations weapons inspectors in the country, press reports said Monday.
According to the reports, Ecevit said that Iraq currently was faced with a new threat and Turkey was working hard to prevent it.
"If the situation were not so serious, I would not be bringing it to your attention," Ecevit wrote to the Iraqi President and asked him to open up his country to the U.N. arms inspectors.
Several U.S. officials have highly indicated that Baghdad could be the next target in the U.S-led global campaign against terrorism. They accuse Iraq of covertly developing weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear, biological and chemical arms.
Ecevit's letter, which was relayed to Saddam Hussein via the Turkish Embassy in Baghdad, concluded with the sentence "I request you to take away the obstacles preventing U.N. inspection as soon as possible."
Ecevit conveyed to Saddam that Ankara valued its ties with Baghdad as well as Iraq's territorial integrity and independence. The Turkish Prime Minister also wrote that "international transparency" was a reality in today's world arena and said that there was no need to be "overly sensitive" about international concern over such issues as weapons development.
"If you do not open your territory to the U.N. inspectors, Turkey may also be harmed by the dangerous incidents that could develop," Ecevit wrote.
Following his visit to Washington last month, Ecevit told reporters that United States President George W. Bush was very serious about an operation against Iraq although the White House had yet to make a strong decision on attacking the country, which Bush termed last week as being part of an “axis of evil”.
Meanwhile, one of President George W Bush's top security advisers, Richard Perle, said in Berlin on Monday that his country is on 'a very clear war course with Iraq', the press reports said. "We intend to change the power structure in Baghdad," Perle said Sunday on the sidelines of the 38th International Security Conference in Munich.
"I think there is nothing Saddam Hussein could do, to convince us that Iraq does not pose any threats," he was quoted by agencies as saying.
Perle's comments follow US Senator John McCain's warnings about an imminent attack on Iraq. US deputy secretary of defense, Paul Wolfowitz, made clear that Washington would go ahead with the attack, with or without European Union support. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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