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Thursday, 24 October, 2002, 15:27 GMT 16:27 UK
Will a new deal break the Iraq deadlock?
The United States has said it will soon submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council "with clear and immediate requirements" for Iraq if it does not co-operate with UN weapons inspections.

This comes as the five permanent members of the Security Council - China, France, Russia, the US and UK meet on Friday to try to end weeks of wrangling over the wording of any new resolution.

It is believed that the new American proposal is designed to overcome France's insistence that military action should only be used after the Security Council passes a second resolution.

Now that the US has won the support of the Russians, France is isolated and can either back down or cast its first veto against the Americans for nearly 50 years.

Can the UN deadlock over Iraq be broken?

Have your say

A history teacher of mine once told me that the importance of studying history is so that we don't make the same mistakes twice. The "policy of appeasement" failed miserably with Hitler, why would it succeed with Saddam?? I realise the situation is somewhat different, but by slacking sanctions we are in effect appeasing Saddam.
Stephen Livingstone, Canada

Iraq began a war with Kuwait and was defeated by a coalition of forces with UN authorization. As a result of that alliance victory, terms of the surrender included inspections which were ultimately interfered with by Iraq. The use of force should already be viable under the terms of the previous. This sends a message that UN resolutions have no weight; disguised by resolution atop of resolution.
Mike Biever, USA

Is the world really ready for another nuclear offensive?

Mike, USA
Is the world really ready for another nuclear offensive? It is very obvious that Saddam will at last use his chemical weapon on US forces and send one to Israel. It is clearly stated by both US and Israel that they would all within their power to prevent Saddam from further use of WMD. Can the international community really accept another Hiroshima?
Mike, Irvine, USA

Thanks to J. Chirac, there is now a real political debate at the UN council. Each country shows its personal viewpoint and a global debate is now raging. In this very democratic and sane debate, the UK chose once again to blindly join the American position.
Jeulain, New Caledonia (French Territory)

From selling exocets to Argentina and bombing the Rainbow Warrior, France's foreign policy has never been based upon principled morality. Chirac's obstructionism owes more to his desire to demonstrate that France still has a role in global politics and is able to wield authority rather than any ethical concern about a war on Iraq. France is a minor player on the global stage and, as such, no longer warrants its place on the Security Council.
Philip, UK

It is said that whether or not the resolution is passed is a moot point because the US will do what it wants anyway. However, many governments have made it clear that they will only take part in war if it is endorsed by the UN. It will be a more difficult job for the US to attack Iraq without the international support enjoyed in previous Gulf Wars.
Kevin, Canada

More UN resolutions are giving Saddam the time he needs

Face the facts! That Russia and France aren't motivated by their own economic agenda is nonsense. That the stance taken by individual nations at the UN isn't driven by their selfish economic desires is nonsense. That the UN can make a resolution that can be enforced or is in any way binding on nations is nonsense. That the US is to blame for the plight of the civilian population of Iraq is nonsense. It's up to Saddam to abide by the original UN resolutions; more UN resolutions are giving Saddam the time he needs.

The tactics of the Bush administration are old, old hat to our weary world. The so-called developed world supposedly learned long ago that belligerence and militant nationalism are dangerous, solve nothing, and only result in escalating violence and increased animosity. Mr. Bush needs his Iraq policy to go forward to keep US citizens distracted from his disastrous handling of our economy, his support for corrupt corporations, not to mention the prize of all that Iraqi oil (how much CO2-generating capacity will that add?). I pray that the UN will stand up to the US.
Charlotte, citizen of the world

I have great respect for Chirac and Putin. The UN is an agent of US, and Blair is blindly supporting Bush. UN sanctions and US actions overseas have killed more civilians than by any dictator on earth.
Siva, Canada

Let's not be innocent about this. It is about money from all sides, including the U.S. and Russia.
Peter, France

The UN should not be allowed to become an agent in the US's oil and economic wars

Francis, UK
The UN should not be allowed to become an agent in the US's oil and economic wars in which WMD are cleverly weapons of mass distraction. Chirac has his own interests, as does everyone, but at least thankfully he sees America's use of the UN for what is really is - national self interest - Powell's own words.
Francis, UK

The US is in constant breach of international law and the atrocities it is committing against the civilian population of Iraq far exceed anything Saddam has ever done.
Tom, England

As a French citizen living in the USA I am so disgusted at France's long history of neutrality I can think of nothing else but dropping a citizenship that means absolutely nothing to me.
Emmanuel, France/USA

Americans are criticised when they do involve themselves in world politics but criticised even more when they don't. When will people realise that diplomacy with terrorists does not work? Delay only allows for the terrorists to regroup and strike another fragile economy like Indonesia.
Brendan, UK

Is Brendan, UK in the correct Talking Point? Saddam may be an evil, warmongering despot, but there is no evidence that he has ever engaged in international terrorism. It seems that the US administration's attempts to associate him with such acts are succeeding with some people. Unfortunately, when it comes to terrorism, the CIA does not have such a clean record as Saddam.
Jon E, France

The only reason the US is intervening in Iraq is to create another puppet regime similar to the one in Saudi Arabia. September 11 has only provided them with an excuse by building a link between al-Qaeda and Saddam, a link that only the US government can imagine of course, since no other nation has seen it. Personal interest or not, France and Russia are defending international law. It is time for the US to go learn what international law is all about.
Walid, France

Saddam will know there is no international support for military action against him

John, US
The problem with the two resolution approach is Saddam will know there is no international support for military action against him. Iraq can continue to play "hide the nuke" and know that if it doesn't comply, the US will have to go back to the UN, hat in hand, to get another resolution authorising use of force with essentially the same case against Iraq that we have now. The end result of the two resolution plan will be that the US and its closest allies will go it alone outside of the UN. My advice to Iraq apologists is to take a deep breath, put aside your hatred of America, and imagine a world under the power of Saddam Hussein or his like.
John, US

Chirac is just dancing around trying to avert war and preserve Saddam's tyranny because France is trying to get reconstruction contracts in Iraq. That is France's primary concern rather than the continued suffering of the Iraqi people under Saddam and his weapons. Tom, USA

I think we'll see the US military in Iraq with or without the resolution. It seems that this is just another way of making the US look like its done its bit of co operation first.
Simon, UK

He's afraid the world will see how deeply France was involved in helping Iraq develop weapons

Anthony Jones, UK
The only reason Chirac is opposed to the US getting rid of Saddam is that he's afraid that the world will see how deeply France was involved in helping Iraq develop weapons, just as it was involved in creating the nuclear reactor that the Israelis bombed in 1981, an act for which they were - predictably enough - condemned by the UN. French principles? Don't make me laugh!
Anthony Jones, UK

I don't think Chirac is too worried, Anthony Jones. Compared to the help the US gave Saddam when he was killing Iranians, it won't amount to much. The idea that George Bush is passionately concerned about the welfare of the Iraqi people is hilarious - has he ever met one?
Simon O'Brien, UK

Resolution, or no resolution, is it really going to make any difference? Bush has had his mind set for a long time... and it is not the UN that is going to stand in his way. When has the United Nations ever stood in the United States' way?
Angie Hussami, Belgium

Saddam's not going to give up

Tom, England
Saddam showed his colours when he attacked and invaded Kuwait, he should have been dealt with then. Now we are faced with another war. Saddam's not going to give up and show his hand, so I see no other outcome.
Tom, England

The deadlock can be broken if the US learns to put aside its instant gratification attitude and learns to compromise. What is wrong with the French proposal? Nothing except that France thought of the idea before the Americans. And heaven forbid the US allows itself to be outdone by anyone else.
Neil, USA/ expat in Europe

France and Russia are only looking after their business interests. Both countries have signed lucrative oil contracts with Iraq. If Saddam Hussein is removed, their contracts will be meaningless. Their opposition to sanctions is because they can only start making money in Iraq when the sanctions are lifted. Those who believe that France and Russia are acting on behalf the Iraqi people are foolish.
Shawn, Washington, DC, USA

The French are being their usual stubborn, pedantic selves. I simply don't see what their problem is with a single resolution that clearly warns Iraq of the pending use of force.
James, ex Pat in France

The UN hardly seems deadlocked. There is widespread agreement on the right course of action with Iraq. Only two countries want an all out war and regime change. The UN has to unite again US unilateralism with the UK playing a minor supporting role to the US.
Graham, Uganda

Bush and Blair are insisting on the removal of Saddam

Vinay Chitnis, Poona, India
Unfortunately the new deal will not be any different - it will just be delaying the inevitable. Bush and Blair are insisting on the removal of Saddam and Saddam is not in any mood to oblige. Would the US and UK leave Saddam alone even if the UN inspectors certify that Iraq no longer has any WMD? I highly doubt so.
Vinay Chitnis, Poona, India

It does not matter how many times we go back and forward to the UN seeking new resolutions or discussing old resolutions the US will do what IT, or more accurately, what Bush wants to do. He wants a war and he is going to instigate one regardless.
Mark, England

I don't think any deal is going to break this cat and mouse game deadlock. Neither side can be fully trusted in this issue from what I can make out of it. America often lets its business interests influence its foreign policies, and Iraq has a bad track record when it comes to living in peace with its neighbours.
Victor D, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Both Russia and France are in this for purely self-interest

Harold, USA
Hopefully the new proposal will be approved. Either way, it's amusing to hear the same old comments here. Victor, do you truly think that France and Russia are not looking to their business interests in Iraq? Both Russia and France are in this for purely self-interest. They do not care about the Iraqi people.
Harold, USA

I agree with Anthony. I have immense respect for the French politicians in the way that they are standing up for what they believe, and not getting bullied into a resolution by Bush.

I have never been a great admirer of Chirac, but I must say, on this particular issue, I am all behind him and hope he will stick to his demands and refuse any deals...
Anthony, London, UK

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18 Oct 02 | Middle East
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