Khatami Hopes Iraq Will Abide By UN Resolution

New Delhi, January 25: | Updated: Jan 26 2003, 05:30am hrs
Iranian President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami expressed hope that there would be no war against Iraq. He was talking to mediapersons after being accorded ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan by President APJ Abdul Kalam here on Saturday. The Iranian leader backed Indias stand for a peaceful resolution of the Iraq crisis, and said misuse of international campaign against terrorism had created a situation of war. He stressed that this was the time for multilateralism and not unilateralism.

All eyes are looking towards Iraq. While we recommend Iraq to abide by the UN resolution, we hope there would be no war. I hope the present situation would be solved in a peaceful way, he said. President Khatami who will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations here on Sunday, said this visit would further strengthen ties between the two countries.

President Kalam said the two countries had civilisational relations and the visit would further strengthen these ties.

Iranian foreign minister Kamal Kharrazi, who is among the four key ministers accompanying President Khatami, said, Every country is very much concerned about the crisis in Iraq....We must do our best to avoid war in the region.

The other members of the high-power delegation are defence minister Ali Shamkhani, Mostafa Moeen (science and technology) and Bijan Zangneh (oil).

Asked about the sharp divergence of views between the US and European countries, including France and Germany, on military action against Iraq, Mr Kkharazi said this clearly showed that they were against unilateral action on Baghdad.

European countries should insist on multilateralism, he said adding they could play a very important role in advising the US. The iranian oil minister Zangneh warned of oil prices shooting up in the event of unilateral action by the US against Iraq.

He said though there was no oil shortage in the international market at present, stoppage of production by Iraq would hit supplies adversely. We hope this will not happen.