European Nations Counter It With A Peace Resolution

Berlin, February 24: | Updated: Feb 26 2003, 05:30am hrs
French President Jacques Chirac announced that France, Germany and Russia submitted a proposal on Tuesday in the United Nations for a step-by-step disarmament of Iraq, part of a European drive to counter US pressure for military action on Baghdad.

The aim is to establish a timetable for Iraqs disarmament, programme by programme, relating to weapons of mass destruction, Mr Chirac told the press before talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

In this context, we see no reason to change our logic, which is the logic of peace, and turn toward a logic of war.

The leaders said all means of peaceful disarmament have not been exhausted. Noting that Security Council resolution 1441 already provides possibilities to strengthen weapons inspections, both Mr Chirac and Mr Schroeder have come out against a new resolution.

The US and Britain introduced a new resolution declaring Iraq in violation of obligations to disarm, UN diplomats said.

We are both of the opinion that we want to achieve Iraqs disarmament peacefully, Mr Schroeder said, adding in that context, we want to do everything to ensure that Iraq fully meets the inspectors demands. Mr Chirac did not elaborate on the proposal.

French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin, however, said over the weekend that it will be submitted as a memorandum to the Security Council.

AP