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EDITIONS
 Saturday, 9 November, 2002, 18:10 GMT
French press hails UN 'victory'
Iraqi soldier on guard outside UN headquarters, Baghdad
UN inspectors are poised to return to Iraq
Leading newspapers in France have welcomed the latest United Nations Security Council resolution on Iraq as a victory for Paris.

France is one of the three permanent members of the UN Security Council which, together with Russia and China, fought against what it saw as US moves to achieve a more belligerent resolution.

Everyone has saved face

Le Figaro

A variety of viewpoints emerge in the pages of France's conservative Le Figaro. Its New York correspondent says: "Everyone has saved face."

France's man at the UN "fought for every comma, to remove any ambiguity over the famous two-step procedure imposed by France: Any fresh Iraqi violation will be examined by the United Nations before any decision concerning its consequences".

Caught in the diplomatic vortex we have forgotten the basic question... Why this war?

Le Figaro

A Le Figaro editorial sees a hidden agenda in the decisions of some Security Council members: "oil interests for the Americans, internal interests for the Russians and Chinese, who want to have a free hand in Chechnya and Tibet".

"Caught in the diplomatic vortex which has been sweeping the world for the past two months, we have forgotten the basic question... Why this war and why now?"

President Bush had decided Saddam was guilty America was seeking to assert its "world domination".

"After Iraq, will there be a new scapegoat?" asks Le Figaro.

Determination

Ouest France praises President Jacques Chirac for the success of his "long, busy and determined diplomatic battle" aimed not at "sparing the master of Baghdad, but rather to save the essential instrument of international relations".

Precisely the opposite of that desired by the 'hawks' in Washington

Liberation

"Without ever speaking of vetoing the American draft, [Paris] nevertheless left the threat hanging in the air while discreetly hinting to the State Department that it would hate being cornered into doing so". France had played "a game of finesse".

The left-wing Liberation is glad Paris refused to bow to "America's diktat".

The "new scenario is precisely the opposite of that desired by the 'hawks' in Washington", it says. They will now have to reckon with the fact that chief weapons inspector Hans Blix is accountable only to the Security Council.

"But the greatest responsibility for the choice between war and peace rests upon the shoulders of Saddam Hussein," Liberation adds.

Russia and China

While the Russian press is rather dormant due to a national holiday, Izvestiya carries comments by a political think-tank pundit grateful that the resolution will at least postpone the outbreak of war.

He says that "Russia will have a clear conscience" if the Americans eventually launch an attack on Baghdad.

Rossiyskaya Gazeta prints remarks by foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko, who says that Moscow is satisfied Saddam Hussein has shown willingness to co-operate with the UN.

In China, the Chinese-language edition of the Communist Party's People's Daily is too preoccupied with the party congress now under way to rubber stamp leadership changes to include mention of the resolution on its front page.

However, the English-language edition quotes a foreign ministry spokesman as saying that Beijing's position is "consistent and clear" and it "advocates peaceful settlement of the Iraq issue".

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.


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08 Nov 02 | Media reports
17 Oct 02 | Country profiles
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