BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Thursday, 3 April, 2003, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
European views on the future of Iraq

A number of European and Nato countries have been holding talks in Brussels with US Secretary of State Colin Powell on the future of Iraq. These are some of the things they have been saying over the last 24 hours.

Nato Secretary General George Robertson

There have been divisions about the past. I see a growing consensus about the future. There was broad agreement... that the conflict in Iraq should be brought to an end as quickly as possible, that casualties be minimised and aid should be delivered to the people of Iraq as a matter of urgency.

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana

An agreement has been already reached on food for oil. If that has been possible I don't see why the rest should not be possible.

Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou

The importance we place on the United Nations role is recognised by the United States. Obviously the UN itself has not yet had this discussion, but it's very important in our transatlantic relationship to make this a point of consensus rather than a point of division.

Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel

I don't see how we could contribute to the reconstruction without the United Nations playing the key role.

Sweden Foreign Minister Anna Lindh

Colin Powell also stresses the role of the UN, but we won't know whether he really means the same thing as we in Europe do until we have seen how the discussion goes at the UN.

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller

I do think we will have a good discussion about the time after the war and there it is really important that we are on a UN track now and that we stay on a UN track. There have been divisions in Nato over Turkey and divisions in the EU over Iraq, so I think it's very good that Colin Powell comes to Europe to have a discussion about that.

British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

It's not about the UN running post-war Iraq, it's about the Iraqi people running post-war Iraq. We're advocating that the country should be handed over to the Iraqi people.

Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

We consider that this war could and should have been avoided, especially taking into account the tragic circumstances that the civilian population of Iraq is already experiencing. That's why the main task now before the entire world community is to search together for an exit from the situation.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder

After this war, the United Nations must play the central role as far as the future of Iraq and the new political order is concerned. I would warn against speculating at this point about the details of the necessary reconstruction of Iraq.

Austrian Foreign Minister Benita Ferrero-Waldner

For us, the United Nations is the central instrument, not only for humanitarian issues but for the entire post-war phase, and the weapons of mass destruction naturally play a very special role here.

French President Jacques Chirac

The USA is our ally and our friend, and the transatlantic link cannot be called into question.

French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin

Just because we're against this war doesn't mean we want dictatorship to defeat democracy. We are in the democratic camp. The Americans are not enemies.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | World | UK | England | Northern Ireland | Scotland | Wales | Politics
Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health | Education
Have Your Say | Magazine | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific