US Resolution Not Dynamic Enough & Not Sufficient
Schröder and Chirac for a stronger UN role in Iraq
Germany and France consider the new draft resolution on Iraq announced by the United States to be "not dynamic enough and not sufficient" the way it is formulated at the moment. After an informal meeting held in Dresden on September 4 Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and French President Jacques Chirac noted that the text of the draft resolution reflects a major shift in US thinking. Further talking points at the German-French meeting included prospects for Europe and the draft EU constitution.
Schröder and Chirac emerge from their informal talks in Dresden, Germany.
With regard to Iraq Schröder and Chirac indicated that what is needed now is to give the country firm prospects of stability and democracy for the future. The supreme objective must be to turn government power over the Iraqis. A prospect of this kind can only develop successfully if the United Nations assumes responsibility for the political process, Schröder said, noting that Germany and France would continue to closely coordinate their positions on Iraq.
An American working draft of a new resolution on Iraq provides for an expanded multinational military mission in Iraq under a UN mandate but it would remain under US command.
Adopting a European constitution
Schröder and Chirac underscored their determination to help ensure the success of the Italian EU Presidency. This will be the case "if we succeed in adopting a European constitution before the end of this year," Schröder said. He warned against picking apart the package that was put together by the European Convention, adding that Germany and France favor adopting the draft constitution as is, despite the fact that wishes have been expressed to make changes in a few points.
Expanding EU growth initiative
Germany and France want to expand an initiative put forward by the Italian Presidency to promote economic growth in Europe by adding proposals of their own. "What is involved here is expanding the initiative to include not just the development of infrastructures but also support for research and development activities," Schröder commented.
Growth and stability pact
Asked about the European growth and stability pact, Schröder said: "On the one hand, we must not give up the objective of budget consolidation but, on the other, we must not make it our sole objective. In the current phase we need to emphasize the growth objective more strongly." He noted that this is currently being done in two ways. The first is by undertaking structural reforms, a process currently ongoing. The second is by introducing a tax cut a year earlier than originally planned. These measures are intended to create further positive impetus for an improving economic situation.
Semi-annual consultations and regular informal meetings
Schröder and Chirac will hold their next meeting in Berlin on September 18, this time for their semi-annual consultations. Since the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Elysée Treaty these consultations have included a full array of cabinet ministers.
The meeting in Dresden, on the other hand, was the fourteenth in a series of regular informal meetings agreed on in early 2001. These frequent exchanges between the German Chancellor, the French President, and their foreign ministers are intended to supplement the semi-annual intergovernmental consultations. Their informal nature is aimed at promoting an open exchange of views.