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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 14:08 GMT
Excerpts of Schroeder speech
German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
'We can disarm Iraq without war' - Schroeder
Chancellor Schroeder told the Bundestag that Germany wanted a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis.

He said he was concerned that any military action could undermine joint efforts to combat international terrorism.

The following are excerpts of the speech:

Germany is bearing responsibility - responsibility in the struggle against international terrorism, responsibility for enforcing the unconditional disarmament of Iraq, responsibility for peace.

Germany is bearing this responsibility together with other states of the United Nations, and we unerringly stick to this responsibility for peace. Ladies and gentlemen, Germany stands by its alliance duties in NATO. When a partner is attacked, we will defend it...

We are firmly convinced that there are still alternatives, it is not too late to bring about the disarmament of the Iraqi regime by peaceful means

Gerhard Schroeder

Anybody who wants to settle this crisis with military means must have an answer to the question whether this will give a boost to the global alliance against terrorism, to which more than 50 primarily Muslim nations belong, or whether it might endanger or even break up this alliance, because this would have disastrous consequences for the struggle against international terrorism...

'Inspections must continue'

Iraq is doubtlessly ruled by a dictator, whom every one of us would prefer to get rid of sooner rather than later... Iraq definitely does not have nuclear weapons, nor any long-range carrier systems, which could take what it does not have to their targets.

There are indications that Iraq might be capable of producing other weapons of mass destruction... this is the reason why the inspectors who are there now must be able to continue their work...

According to everything we know so far, the latest mission of the UN inspectors in Baghdad has certainly led to progress. The inspectors, who will present another report to the UN Security Council tomorrow, have never left any doubt about the necessary scope of their mission.

Our responsibility is to enable these inspectors to conclude their task successfully... This means the inspections must be continued and expanded...

Five-point plan

The alternative is not war or doing nothing. Whoever rejects war is not doomed to appeasement. Our immediate action is basically oriented towards five points:

First, Resolution 1441 does not contain a provision for the automatic development towards the use of military force...

Second, Iraq must cooperate comprehensively and actively with the UN Security Council and the weapons inspectors. We need absolute clarity about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and, if they exist, their final destruction.

Third, the power to decide about the progress made by the inspectors and about all consequences rests with the UN Security Council.

Fourth, the decisive instrument for the abolition of prohibited Iraqi armament programmes is and remains an effective inspection and verification regime. It must be expanded and intensified in line with the requirements.

Fifth, it is our goal to establish lasting structures to contain the dangers emanating from Iraq, for disarmament, and stability in the entire region.

Impact on Middle East

Iraq's neighbouring states - but not only they - must be included more strongly than in the past. The explosive situation in the region and the weapons potentials existing there require comprehensive cooperation.

We are firmly convinced that there are still alternatives, it is not too late to bring about the disarmament of the Iraqi regime by peaceful means - not only in the UN Security Council, not only in the EU, but also here in the Bundestag we will continue to work for a broad majority for a common position in this respect.

I do not want to accept that the only choice is waging a war together with our friends or giving peace a chance without them. We can disarm Iraq without war.

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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German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
"We all do what we have to do for the peaveful disarmament of Iraq"

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13 Feb 03 | Europe
03 Feb 03 | Europe
08 Jan 03 | Europe
29 Jan 03 | Europe
12 Feb 03 | Americas
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