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Last Updated:  Monday, 17 March, 2003, 16:01 GMT
Greenstock statement in full
Jeremy Greenstock
Greenstock: Co-sponsors reserve the right to take own steps
Here is the full statement read out by the British ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, ruling out a further resolution on military action against Iraq:

As you know we have worked very hard in the last few days in a final effort to seek a council consensus on Iraq.

In an effort to re-unite the council, the United Kingdom proposed last week an ultimatum which would challenge Iraq to take a strategic decision to disarm.

There were three key elements to the compromise we proposed.

First, tough but realisable tests including an unequivocal commitment to disarmament by Saddam Hussein.

Second, a realistic but tight timetable for completion of those tests given the urgent need for Iraq to comply after 12 years of prevarication.

And third, an understanding that if Iraq failed the tests, serious consequences would ensue - as set out in Resolution 1441.

Consensus 'not possible'

Having held further discussions with council members over the weekend and in the last few hours, we have had to conclude that council consensus will not be possible in line with Resolution 1441.

One country in particular has underlined its intention to veto any ultimatum "no matter what the circumstances".

That country rejected our proposed compromise before even the Iraqi Government itself and has put forward suggestions that would row back on the unanimous agreement of the council in resolution 1441 and those suggestions would amount to no ultimatum, no pressure and no disarmament.

Given this situation the co-sponsors have agreed that we will not pursue a vote on the draft UK-US-Spanish resolution in blue.

The communiqués and press statements issued at the Azores summit explain the position of our governments on the way forward.

The co-sponsors reserve their right to take their own steps to secure the disarmament of Iraq.



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