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Thursday, 26 September, 2002, 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK
Salmond warns over Iraq action
Alex Salmond
Mr Salmond was addressing the SNP conference
Britain and America must not strike against Iraq without United Nations backing, former Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond has told his party.

Mr Salmond said that the credibility of the United Nations was at stake if America and the UK launch their own military action against Saddam Hussein's regime.

In a keynote speech to the SNP's autumn conference in Inverness, Mr Salmond said his party's commitment to the UN was "absolute".

SNP delegates shared Mr Salmond's concerns, voting against unilateral action by Britain and America.

Alex Salmond
Alex Salmond: Committed to Un approval

An emergency motion which claimed a unilateral attack "cannot be justified" and called for a peaceful resolution to the crisis was unanimously backed.

Mr Salmond told the second day of the SNP conference that the power of the UN must not be undermined by President Bush and Tony Blair.

He said: "Let us be clear. The only body with the authority to sanction military action in the name of the UN is the security council.

"Action sanctioned by the UN should be respected. Action outwith it cannot be supported.

"Certainly the credibility of the United Nations is at stake if it fails to back up its resolutions with action - not necessarily military action but in the last resort military action.

"However, it is equally at stake if the most powerful nations in the world threaten to act outside it if they don't get their way within it."

Mr Salmond, the SNP's leader at Westminster, also accused Tony Blair of blindly following the wishes of President Bush.

War and destruction

"The prime minister believes in whatever the White House believes in - and the emptiness of that position is evident," he said.

Mr Salmond said that while Scotland's support for the US could not be questioned, the nation must speak out when it disagrees with the actions of America's leaders.

He said: "Much of America is still in shock, in trauma from the atrocity of last September and at times such as these real friends have the guts to tell the truth - and that truth is that the world's most powerful country must respect the world authority of the United Nations."

The Banff and Buchan MP also attacked the government's record on arms sales to countries such as Israel, India and Pakistan.

He said: "Let the message from this conference be, you cannot create peace and prosperity by selling people the technology of war and destruction."

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 ON THIS STORY
Glenn Campbell reports
"The SNP do not want to be seen as a parochial party."
See also:

26 Sep 02 | Scotland
25 Sep 02 | Scotland
25 Sep 02 | Scotland
24 Sep 02 | Scotland
20 Sep 02 | Scotland
15 Sep 02 | Scotland
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