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EDITIONS
Monday, 9 September, 2002, 05:59 GMT 06:59 UK
Iraq conflict 'unjust' says Plaid
George W Bush and Tony Blair
The leaders have to convince others their way is right
Plaid Cymru has added its voice to the growing opposition toward the threat of military intervention in Iraq by the United States and the UK.

The party's national executive committee met in Aberystwyth at the weekend, when officials concluded there was "no possible justification" for attacking Saddam Hussein without a United Nations mandate.

UN weapon inspectors
The party has backed UN weapon inspections
A survey of Labour MPs in Westminster last week found most felt they could not support military action without direct evidence that Iraq posed a military threat to other countries.

Now Plaid Cymru president Ieuan Wyn Jones has warned of "massive casualties" from prolonged and "unjustified" military action in the region.

Mr Jones also launched a direct challenge to the Prime Minister, declaring Tony Blair "did not speak for Wales" by supporting US President George Bush.

The party has instead given its support for renewed UN weapon inspections in Iraq to analyse Saddam Hussein's capacity to use weapons of mass destruction.

Party 'unconvinced'

Plaid Cymru said it was not convinced that Iraq at present posed any serious threat militarily to the US.

Its executive's statement declared: "Plaid Cymru - The Party of Wales - totally opposes escalating military action against Iraq by the United States and the UK.

Missile being launched
Plaid wants UN action not military action
"The party considers that there is no possible justification for such action, given the fact that Iraq poses no immediate threat to the United States, and there is no United Nations mandate for military intervention."

Mr Jones was unequivocal in his opposition to proposed attacks.

"I cannot see any justification for military action by the United States in what would be a pre-emptive strike against Iraq.

'Massive casualties'

"Such action would lead to massive casualties, including innocent civilians on both sides in what would inevitably be a prolonged land based conflict.

"Tony Blair does not speak for Wales when he says that he supports George Bush on this issue.

Ieuan Wyn Jones, Plaid Cymru leader
Ieuan Wyn Jones: Traditional debates overshadowed
"Mr Blair should re-call Parliament urgently so that he can hear the public's views as expressed by their elected representatives and see for himself how deeply divided his own party is on the issue."

Plaid MEP Jill Evans, the party's spokesperson on International Affairs, warned of a knock-on effect on political stability in the Middle East if military action against Iraq was carried out.

"The majority of people in Wales are opposed to an attack. It is time the Prime Minister paid more heed to our demands for peace than President Bush's call to war."

Following the 11 September terror attacks on the US, the party's annual conference in 2001 urged military restraint and a re-think by Mr Blair on Middle East foreign policy.

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Ieuan Wyn Jones
"Iraq can't pose a threat to the US"

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08 Sep 02 | Middle East
06 Sep 02 | Middle East
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