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There is still an alternative to war


There is still an alternative to war

On February 10 France, Germany, and Russia issued a joint declaration on Iraq. In it they advocate continuing and intensifying the UN weapons inspections. There is still an alternative to war, the declaration says.

The declaration:

Russia, Germany and France, acting in close cooperation with one another, reaffirm that the disarming of Iraq in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions adopted since Resolution 687 constitutes the common objective of the international community and that this process must be brought to a conclusion as quickly as possible.

There is a debate going on as to how this can be achieved. This debate must be continued in a spirit of friendship and respect, in keeping with the nature of our relations with the United States and other countries. Any resolution of this problem must be based on the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as Kofi Annan recently reminded us.

Resolution 1441, which was unanimously adopted by the Security Council, provides a framework, the options of which have not yet been fully exhausted.

The inspections being carried out by UNMOVIC and the IAEA have already produced results. Russia, Germany and France advocate a continuation of the inspections as well as a substantial increase of their human and technical capabilities, in agreement with the inspectors and within the framework of Resolution 1441.

There is still an alternative to war. The use of force can only be a last resort. Russia, Germany and France are determined to give every possible chance to the option of disarming Iraq peacefully.

Iraq must cooperate proactively with UNMOVIC and the IAEA so that the inspections can be completed peacefully. Iraq must come into full compliance with its obligations.

Russia, Germany and France note that the position they take is congruent with that of a large number of other countries, particularly among those on the Security Council.

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