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Iraqi cooperation showing progress and deficits

Iraqi cooperation showing progress and deficits

Speaking in Berlin on March 3 a Foreign Office spokesman reiterated the German government's demand that Iraq fulfill all its disarmament obligations rapidly and completely.

The government has recurrently stated its view that Iraq can and must be disarmed peacefully.

Speaking in Berlin on March 3 a Foreign Office spokesman said "the German government has repeatedly called upon Baghdad to fulfill all its disarmament obligations rapidly and completely and to cooperate with the inspectors".

He went on to say the fact that the process of destroying the Al-Samoud 2 missiles as ordered by UN chief inspector Hans Blix has been initiated is a step forward but it needs to be followed by further steps.

He indicated that Iraq now needs to provide information on what has been done with biological and chemical agents as yet unaccounted for. The German government takes the view that Iraq can and must be disarmed peacefully on the basis of UN Security Council Resolution 1441. Iraq needs to cooperate unconditionally in this.

Call for Baghdad's active cooperation

The regime in Baghdad needs to answer the questions that are still open. "Baghdad must comply with the conditions imposed by the inspectors in a context of active cooperation. This is our position and, as you are aware, it is also expressed in the Franco-Russo-German memorandum that was circulated in the Security Council," the spokesman indicated. He stated that the Blix reports to the Security Council have been characterized by the fact that they point out a certain amount of improvement in cooperation but also emphasize that the cooperation being provided is not yet sufficient. In connection with his report on February 14 Blix noted that there had not been a breakthrough but there had been some progress. In his latest report he again made reference to progress alongside continuing deficits. He said there are a number of deficits that need to be eliminated rapidly and fully but that there have also been a few steps in the right direction, although not yet sufficient in number.

Potentials of Resolution 1441 not yet exhausted

At a held meeting in Moscow on February 26 Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed their view that the potentials of UN Security Council Resolution 1441 are far from being exhausted. Their meeting focused on further coordinating the positions taken by Germany and Russian with regard to disarming Iraq peacefully under the inspection regime imposed by Resolution 1441. Schröder and Putin stressed that Iraq can and must be disarmed by peaceful means, adding that Iraq needs to comply fully and without delay with the demands of the international community and the inspectors. Schröder noted that this position is taken jointly by Germany and Russia as expressed in the memorandum jointly submitted to the UN Security Council by Germany, France and Russia. These proposals, put forward in New York on February 24, are aimed at achieving full implementation of Resolution 1441. The objective is to strengthen the inspections and make them more systematic. Schröder and Putin both take the view that the UN inspectors should formulate precise demands for Iraq and continue their work on that basis.

The Memorandum

Full and effective disarmament in accordance with the relevant UNSC resolutions remains the imperative objective of the international community. Our priority should be to achieve this peacefully through the inspection regime. The military option should only be a last resort. So far, the conditions for using force against Iraq are not fulfilled:

While suspicions remain, no evidence has been given that Iraq still possesses weapons of mass destruction or capabilities in this field;

Inspections have just reached their full pace; they are functioning without hindrance; they have already produced results;

While not yet fully satisfactory, Iraqi co-operation is improving, as mentioned by the chief inspectors in their last report.

The Security Council must step up its efforts to give a real chance to the peaceful settlement of the crisis. In this context, the following conditions are of paramount importance:

the unity of the Security Council must be preserved;

the pressure that is put on Iraq must be increased.

These conditions can be met, and our common objective - the verifiable disarmament of Iraq - can be reached through the implementation of the following proposals:

A) Clear program of action for the inspections: According to resolution 1284, UNMOVIC and IAEA have to submit their program of work for approval of the Council. The presentation of this program of work should be speeded up, in particular the key remaining disarmament tasks to be completed by Iraq pursuant to its obligations to comply with the disarmament requirements of resolution 687 (1991) and other related resolutions.

The key remaining tasks shall be defined according to their degree of priority. What is required of Iraq for implementation of each task shall be clearly defined and precise.

Such a clear identification of tasks to be completed will oblige Iraq to cooperate more actively. It will also provide a clear means for the Council to assess the co-operation of Iraq.

B) Reinforced inspections:

Resolution 1441 established an intrusive and reinforced system of inspections. In this regard, all possibilities have not yet been explored. Further measures to strengthen inspections could include , as exemplified in the French non paper previously communicated to the chief inspectors, the following: increase and diversification of staff an expertise; establishment of mobile units designed in particular to check on trucks; completion of the new system of aerial surveillance; systematic processing of data provided by the newly established system of aerial surveillance.

C) Timelines for inspections and assessment:

Within the framework of resolution 1284 and 1441, the implementation of the program of work shall be sequenced according to a realistic and rigorous timeline:

the inspectors should be asked to submit the program of work outlining the key substantive tasks for Iraq to accomplish, including missiles / delivery systems, chemical weapons / precursors, biological weapons / material and nuclear weapons in the context of the report due March 1st;

the chief inspectors shall report to the Council on implementation of the program of work on a regular basis (every 3 weeks);

a report of UNMOVIC and IAEA assessing the progress made in completing the tasks shall be submitted by the inspectors 120 days after the adoption of the program of work according to resolution 1284;

at any time, according to paragraph 11 of resolution 1441, the executive Chairman of UNMOVC and the Director General of the IAEA shall report immediately to the Council any interference by Iraq with inspections activities as well as failure by Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations;

at any time, additional meetings of the Security Council could be decided, including at high level.

To render possible a peaceful solution inspections should be given the necessary time and resources. However, they can not continue indefinitely. Iraq must disarm. Its full and active co-operation is necessary. This must include the provision of all the additional and specific information on issues raised by the inspectors as well as compliance with their requests, as expressed in particular in Mr. Blix' letter of February 21st 2003. The combination of a clear program of action, reinforced inspections, a clear timeline and the military build-up provide a realistic means to reunite the Security Council and to exert maximum pressure on Iraq.

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