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Thursday, December 17, 1998 Published at 12:59 GMT


'A sad day': Full text of Annan Iraq statement



Text of statement by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan following the start of the US and British military campaign against Iraq:


[ image: Kofi Annan: UN kept trying for peace]
Kofi Annan: UN kept trying for peace
This is a sad day for the United Nations and for the world.

My thoughts tonight are with the people of Iraq, with the 307 United Nations humanitarian workers who remain in the country, and with all others whose lives are in danger.

It is also a very sad day for me personally. Throughout this year I have done everything in my power to ensure peaceful compliance with Security Council resolutions, and so to avert the use of force.


Kofi Annan's statement
This has not been an easy or a painless process. It has required patience, determination and the will to seek peace even when all signs pointed to war. However daunting the task, the United Nations had to try as long as any hope of peace remained.

I deeply regret that today these efforts have proved insufficient.

What has happened cannot be reversed. Nor can any of us foresee the future. All we know is that tomorrow, as yesterday, there will be still an acute need, in Iraq and in the wider region, for humanitarian relief and healing diplomacy.

In both these tasks, the United Nations will be ready, as ever, to play its part.





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