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Wednesday, 5 February, 2003, 19:26 GMT
Europe's doubters hold position
Colin Powell during presentation
Powell's presentation sparked calls for more inspections
Europe's doubters appeared not to have been won over by the US presentation of fresh information about Iraq before the UN Security Council.

Let us double, let us triple the number of inspectors

Dominique De Villepin
French Foreign Minister
Powerful council members Russia and France - both of whom hold the power of veto - said the presentation by Secretary of State Colin Powell demonstrated the need for weapons inspections to continue.

And German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, who chaired the session, said that the council should continue to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis.

France suggested that the number of weapons inspectors should be massively boosted.

Open in new window : Clickable Map
Conflict with Iraq : Where Europe stands

"Let us double, let us triple the number of inspectors," French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told the Security Council.

'New stage'

"Let us open more regional offices. Let us go further than this, could we not, for example, put up, set up, a specialised body to keep under surviellance the sites and areas that have already been inspected? Let us very significantly reinforce the capacity for monitoring and collecting information in Iraq."

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer
Fischer: Continue to seek a peaceful solution
War, he insisted, should be used only as a "last resort".

"We must move on to a new stage and further strengthen the inspections," Mr De Villlepin said.

"Given the choice between military intervention and an inspections regime that is inadequate because of a failure to co-operate on Iraq's part, we must choose the decisive reinforcement of the means of inspections."

The information indicates that the activities of the international inspectors in Iraq must be continued

Igor Ivanov
Russian Foreign Minister
Mr Fischer described the French proposals as "interesting", adding that a "tough regime of intense inspections" was needed.

He said that the Security Council should be the centre of decision-making on the question of Iraq, and reiterated German opposition to war.

"The dangers of military action and its consequences are plain to see...," he said. "We must continue to seek a peaceful solution to the crisis."

He said it was also crucial that Iraq should fully co-operate with them to dispel suspicions abouts its intention to disarm.

'Difficult battle'

Russia's Igor Ivanov also told the council that Mr Powell's information would be carefully studied, and he called for the details to be handed to the weapons inspectors.

The information from Mr Powell "indicates that the activities of the international inspectors in Iraq must be continued," Mr Ivanov said.

And he stressed the importance of united world action through the channel of the Security Council.

Saddam must be left in no doubt as to the serious consequences which he now faces

Jack Straw
UK Foreign Secretary
"We are just at the beginning of a very difficult battle with terrorism," he said. "The unity of the world community will continue to be the main guarantee for the effectiveness of its action."

The US's strongest ally on the council, the UK, said the information proved the extent to which Saddam Hussain was deceiving the world.

"If (Iraqi) non-co-operation continues, this council must meet its responsibilities," said Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

"Saddam must be left in no doubt as to the serious consequences which he now faces."

Other countries close to the US position including Spain and Bulgaria agreed that said the presentation proved further evidence of Saddam Hussein's non-compliance with UN resolutions.

Spanish Foreign Minister Ana Palacio said the information confirmed that Iraq was deceiving the international community.

The international community could not allow a situation to continue where Iraq was assembling weapons of mass destruction, she said, adding that Saddam Hussein had shown in the past that he was prepared to use such weapons.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
US Secretary of State Colin Powell
"Saddam Hussein's regime has made no effort to disarm"
UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw
"All members will share our frustration that Iraq is spurning this last chance"
The BBC's David Bamford
"France said Mr Powell's allegations must be fully examined by the inspectors"
 VOTE RESULTS
Are you convinced by Powell's evidence?

Yes
 39.71% 

No
 60.29% 

21801 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion


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See also:

05 Feb 03 | Middle East
05 Feb 03 | Middle East
05 Feb 03 | Middle East
05 Feb 03 | Middle East
05 Feb 03 | Middle East
04 Feb 03 | Middle East
04 Feb 03 | Middle East
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