Gerhard Schroeder reiterated his strong reservations about the imminent military attack on Iraq, saying it could "destroy the international alliance against terrorism" built after the September 11 attacks in the United States.
Replying Wednesday to a question from a reader of the tabloid Bild, the German leader: "This war (against terror) is not yet won and that is why I am warning against an attack on Iraq. "It will not be well understood as a means of defense and could destroy the international alliance against terrorism."
Schroeder continued: "The Middle East needs a new peace and not a new war. That is the aim of our policy. And it is only that which corresponds with the political and economic necessities. "Any other policy would worsen the world economic crisis and would only bring us economic difficulties. In the fight against terrorism we shall continue to act wisely and decisively."
In a separate interview, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer questioned whether Bush administration had fully considered the consequences of any action, saying that it could mean the U.S. military would need to stay in Iraq for decades. "If they were to end their presence there prematurely, we Europeans would bear the fatal consequences as the region's direct neighbors," Fischer told the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
He also questioned the connection between Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network, blamed for the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington, and Saddam Hussein. "Nobody can rule out another large terror attack. But neither has anybody so far proved any link between Saddam Hussein and organizations such as al Qaeda," the minister said. (Albawaba.com)
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