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
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.