BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
    You are in: UK: Politics  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 29 January, 2003, 08:40 GMT
US urged to build global consensus
UN weapons inspectors
The UN role is crucial in the Iraq crisis, says Mr Kinnock

The US could win more backing for its stance on Iraq if it played a greater role in other global issues, former Labour leader Neil Kinnock has said.

He told BBC News Online that the Iraq crisis could not be "detached" from other issues such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.

Mr Kinnock said the backing of the United Nations is crucial in attempts to disarm Iraq.

All this speculation from all the armchair warriors and the pub strategists doesn't impress me at all

Neil Kinnock
And he also urged the US to act as a "restraint" on Israel as a counter-balance to "Arab intervention" to end Saddam Hussein's rule.

Mr Kinnock acknowledged a sense in Europe that the US has been "less than energetic" in creating a global consensus in other areas.

He said there has been "great disturbance" at the "isolationism" of some of President Bush's policies, such as the refusal to sign up to the Kyoto Protocol on the environment, the withdrawal from the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty and the imposition of tariffs on foreign steel.

Detached

Mr Kinnock said: "It's no accident that the people who regard themselves to be most well disposed towards America, and I include myself in that, are amongst the most concerned."

Neil Kinnock
Kinnock: Iraq cannot be detached from other concerns
He said the Iraq crisis cannot be detached from such concerns.

"When it comes to the crunch like the Iraq crisis people call up their other references and they are bound to say 'how could the USA be in our view wrong on all those things and right on this one?'

"(At) the time when the maximum degree of inter-dependence and unity of purpose is necessary, the only effective rule is rule by consensus...and there's a lot of feeling that the efforts at consensus have been less than energetic."

Mr Kinnock said the United Nations has been crucial in terms of the Iraq crisis.

Crucial

"The real force and effectiveness of the antagonism towards Saddam Hussein derives from the UN," he said.

I believe that but for Blair's intervention, the US wouldn't have got anywhere near the position that it now is in relation to the UN

Neil Kinnock
And he said he believes Tony Blair's role has been crucial in persuading the US to stick with the UN route.

"I believe that but for Blair's intervention, the US wouldn't have got anywhere near the position that it now is in relation to the UN.

"I think he has played an immensely constructive role and it's taken a lot of guts to do it, because over the shoulder he has had other voices."

The threat to Saddam must, he said, be credible alongside other ways of securing the disarmament of Iraq: "The other arguments would not carry the strength and force that they do unless there was the threat of military action."

He holds out the hope of "constructive Arab intervention to secure the end of the Iraqi dictatorship".

'Armchair warriors'

But that would also depend on the US being prepared to act "as a restraint on Israel and...as a guarantor for the achievement of a Palestinian state, which Bush has said he is in favour of, of course."

But would he support action against Iraq not backed by the UN?

"I wouldn't be prepared to be hard and fast," he said. "It wasn't so long ago I was listening to people saying, 'ah the Yanks will never go to the UN', and people saying there would be a war before October, war before Christmas, then you can't have war after March because it's too hot.

"All this speculation from all the armchair warriors and the pub strategists doesn't impress me at all.

"What I do see is intensive efforts to try to get a non-violent solution, but to be credible those efforts have got to be backed by realistic threat of force."


Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

29 Jan 03 | Politics
29 Jan 03 | Politics
29 Jan 03 | Politics

 E-mail this story to a friend



© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes