Germany Sets Out a Peacemaking Solution on Iraq
Germany and France will present a plan to the United Nations security council on Feb 14 that will see a European military peacekeeping presence inside Iraq. The United States is enraged.
The news broke in Spiegel Magazine and was later confirmed by German Defense Minister Peter Struck: “We hope that the initiative will be taken up positively in the Security Council on Feb. 14," Struck told Germany’s Phoenix television.
For the full Deutsche Welle report, see… Deutsche Welle News: U.S. Scorns German-Franco Peace Plan And for German reading viewers, see… Spiegel’s breaking news reports
Deutsche Welle news reported last night, the plan would involve trebling the number of weapons inspectors in Iraq, backing them up by sending thousands of U.N. troops and turning the whole of the Gulf state into a no-fly zone -- was initiated by German Chancellor Schröder and French President Chirac. The German Defense Minister said that the plan was at an advanced stage, but he would leave it to Chancellor Schröder to reveal details in an address to parliament on Thursday.
“On Saturday, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer too alluded to a common German-Franco initiative that has reportedly been negotiated by Schröder and Chirac in secret meetings over the past weeks. Fischer said that he wanted to strengthen the force of the inspection regime in Iraq and increase the number of weapons inspectors from the present 100 to 2,000,” Deutsche Welle news reported.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei
Ivanov said that Russia would back the Franco-German plan to
try to avert war in Iraq if the U.N. Security Council
discussed it. "I have no doubt that Russia will adhere to
it," he told a
news conference at the security council in Munich.
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is on a four-day visit to Germany and France, is expected to meet with German Chancellor Schröder on Sunday evening and be briefed of the German-Franco initiative before heading to Paris to meet President Chirac.
An enraged US Bush Administration insisted the plan would fail. US Secretary of State Colin Powell told Fox News: "More inspectors doesn't answer the question and what France has to do and what Germany has to do... is read 1441 again," U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told Fox News Sunday in the United States.
Fischer: "I am not convinced"
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer criticized the U.S. strategy in the war against terror and said he couldn’t see any justification for a war against Iraq. Fischer said that the U.N. weapons inspectors should continue their work and be given more time to carry out inspections. Fischer turned down Rumsfeld’s demand for a quick decision. "We shouldn’t just follow the logic of a military attack," he said.
News of the German-French-Plan came as US Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld addressed a security conference in Munich: There, Rumsfeld criticised Germany and France for stalling NATO military aid to Turkey: “I can’t imagine doing that, it is beyond my comprehension... Turkey is an ally, the North Atlantic Treaty provides for this. Turkey is a member of the alliance. To prevent defensive capabilities – just the planning, not even deployment – I think that is inexcusable," Rumsfeld told the conference on Saturday.”
See also… Rumsfeld’s Munchen speech
Germany countered US criticisms with German Defense Minister Struck announcing that Germany and the Netherlands would supply Turkey with anti-aircraft patriot missiles by the end of next week to protect it in the event of a war against Iraq.