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Thursday, 6 February, 2003, 13:28 GMT
Powell dossier: Reaction
The Security Council on 5 February
Most countries urged the continuation of inspections
World leaders have been reacting to the presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell outlining the US case against Iraq:

  • "We have just heard a most powerful and authoritative case against the Iraqi regime set out by Secretary Powell. The international community owes him its thanks for laying bare the deceit practiced by the regime of Saddam Hussein, and worse, the great danger it represents."

    UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw

  • French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin
    France: Iraq must "submit" to the demands of the international community
    "It is important for Iraq to accept and submit to the demands of the international community, whether it's about its scientists being questioned without [government] witnesses or about U2s being allowed to fly over Iraqi territory so that the international community can obtain all the information it needs."

    French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin

  • "The resolutions do not contain any time limit but... pressure will mount if there is no co-operation. This depends on the assessment by [chief UN weapons inspector] Hans Blix, in particular with regards to chemical and biological weapons and by [International Atomic Energy Agency head Mohamed] ElBaradei regarding potential nuclear risks."

    German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer

  • "The information provided today by the US Secretary of State once again convincingly indicates the fact that the activities of the international inspectors in Iraq must be continued."

    Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov

  • "It is the universal desire of the international community to see a political settlement to the issue of Iraq within the UN framework and avoid any war. As long as there is still the slightest hope for political settlement, we should exert our utmost effort to achieve that."

    Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan

  • "If we can cast our minds back a little, we can see that this is no more than a new episode of the problem that arose in 1990 when the Iraqi regime invaded Kuwait... Iraqi Prime Minister Tariq Aziz referred expressly to Spain warning that our support for the United Nations could represent what he euphemistically called an extension of terrorism to our country."

    Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar

  • "One cannot say that there were new elements... We think that the conditions are not there to authorise, to justify an American attack."

    Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel

  • "We need to give that inspection system a last chance, maybe one, maybe two, over a couple of weeks."

    Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham

  • "The material that Secretary of State Powell has released shows a deeply disturbing pattern of deceit by Saddam Hussein's regime."

    Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer

  • "Suspicions over Iraq's weapons of mass destruction have deepened... We must act in a responsible way as a US ally."

    Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi

  • U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix and international atomic energy chief Mohamed ElBaradei
    The inspectors listened intently to proceedings
    "Programmes for weapons of mass destruction are not like an aspirin pill, easily hidden. They require huge production facilities, starting from research and development facilities, to factories, to weaponisation, then deployment. Such things cannot be concealed. Inspectors have criss-crossed all of Iraq and have found none of that."

    Iraq's UN Ambassador Mohammed Aldouri

  • "Syria still believes in the possibility of arriving at a peaceful settlement that spares Iraq war and spares the region the dangerous repercussions of such a war. How can we talk about going to war against Iraq which no longer occupies the territories of others, let alone threatens its neighbours at a time when Israel still occupies Palestinian, Lebanese and Syrian territories."

    Syria's UN Ambassador Mikhail Wehbe

  • "We believe that we should await [the inspectors'] conclusions - positive or negative. At this critical moment, Pakistan wishes to reaffirm its determination to act within and outside the council on the basis of the principles of the United Nations charter."

    Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri

  • Mr Powell "laid bare the true nature of Saddam Hussein's regime... and exposed the great dangers that would emanate from this regime to the region and the world."

    Israeli Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu

  • "Mexico reaffirms its confidence in the inspection activities now under way as the best possible way to detect, destroy and verify the elimination of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We are in favour of intensifying those inspections."

    Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Ernesto Derbez

  • "Is it not time for the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, to go to Iraq to find ways of resolving the crisis peacefully?"

    Cameroon Foreign Minister Francois-Xavier Ngoubeyou

    UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
    "All members will share our frustration that Iraq is spurning this last chance"
    Senior French member of parliament Jacques Myard
    "Powell brought clues but no real evidence"

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    See also:

    05 Feb 03 | Middle East
    04 Feb 03 | Middle East
    27 Jan 03 | Americas
    26 Jan 03 | Americas
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