[R-G] Russian Veto?
u_majeed at straight.com
Thu Feb 27 14:30:53 MST 2003
Russia hints at using veto on Iraq issue
MOSCOW, Feb 26: Russia may veto a new resolution on Iraq put forth jointly
by the United States, Britain and Spain, a senior Kremlin source said on
"We cannot agree with a text which speaks about how a military solution is
unavoidable," the unnamed Kremlin official said.
The source was quoted as saying that Russia may use its right of veto when
the resolution is placed before the 15-member UN Security Council, possibly
in mid-March, adding that "such a development is undesirable".
In Washington, however, a senior official said he doubted either Russia or
China would veto the resolution.
In Paris, on the other hand, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin
said his country did not need to consider using its veto as the text did not
have majority support.
Noting that the draft resolution would require nine of the 15 Council votes
to pass, de Villepin said: "We are not in that situation. There is therefore
no reason to evoke the hypothesis" of France using its veto.
De Villepin - who was speaking to reporters after talks with his Italian
counterpart, Franco Frattini - said Paris and Rome shared "a common
willingness to see the UN fully play its role and achieve a peaceful
solution" in Iraq.
The French minister added that it was "important for the Europeans to rally
their forces behind a peaceful solution".
Paris has staunchly opposed Washington's plans to launch military action
against Baghdad, while Rome has placed itself in the pro-Washington camp.
The United States, Britain and Spain on Monday submitted a draft resolution
that would in effect authorize the use of military force against Baghdad
over its alleged arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.
De Villepin later addressed the French Senate, saying that the draft
resolution before the Security Council "clearly paved the way for military
That appeared to be a jab at British and US attempts to present the short
text as a simple confirmation that Iraq had not met its commitments to fully
and unhesitatingly cooperate with the UN inspectors.
While that surface interpretation is being used to lobby reluctant council
members, most diplomats acknowledge that the effect of the resolution is, in
fact, to authorize war by referring back to the "serious consequences"
threatened in Resolution 1441, adopted on Nov 8.
De Villepin also said that the Iraq crisis was something of an example for
the United Nations for other problems it faces, starting with North Korea's
nuclear weapons programme. He argued that a peaceful resolution here would
act as a precedent for later crises.
"The temptation to use force must be resisted," he said. "Force alone is
force in vain when it is not applied according to principles of law."
Iraq, though, had to "fully" and "without delay" cooperate with the terms of
Resolution 1441, the French minister said, noting that the inspections
"cannot go on forever".
FRENCH PM: French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin told parliament on
Wednesday that an invasion would be "illegitimate" and would divide the
Opening a special debate on the Iraq crisis, Mr Raffarin said a war "would
divide the international community... (and) weaken the coalition against
He also repeated President Jacques Chirac's stance that "in the current
circumstances, a second resolution at the UN has no justification".
France's approach had the "support of the majority of states and of public
opinion", the premier said, making reference to massive anti-war rallies
that have taken place around the globe.
Raffarin stressed that UN inspections mandated under Resolution 1441 had
shown "results", though he also called on Baghdad to show full cooperation
"Today's crisis could well be tomorrow's war," he told the deputies.
Raffarin, too, tried to smooth ruffled feathers, insisting that "the
building of Europe's politics should not be taken hostage in this crisis"
and that the split between Washington and Paris "should not in any way
undermine the strength" of their ties.
"We are not ruling out war, but our fight is one for peace.... We do not
want a new war of religions. We do not want a clash of civilizations. That
is not how we see the planet," he said.
"Our aim in the circumstances is to persuade, our strategy is that of the
majority of the Security Council," Raffarin said. But he added: "As for our
next objective concerning the Security Council, I believe that it is clearly
stated by France that we do not exclude any option." And, when it came to
French-United States ties, the prime minister said that the "frankness" of
France's position "cannot hurt our links of gratitude, of closeness with the
American people.... We know what we owe them, they can count on our
"You show me a capitalist and I'll show you a bloodsucker."
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