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Security Council resumes debate on Iraq

17 October – The United Nations Security Council today resumed its open debate on Iraq with over 40 countries – including all Council members – slated to participate in the discussions, which began yesterday and included widespread calls for Baghdad’s compliance as well as numerous pleas to avoid a violent confrontation.

Addressing the Council today on behalf of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), Mokhtar Lamani hailed Iraq’s decision to re-admit UN weapons inspectors, calling this a “first step” towards a settlement of the issue leading to a lifting of the sanctions.

He recalled that numerous speakers had stressed during the Council’s meeting that there should be no double standards in term of non-compliance with UN resolutions. “The history of the United Nations testifies to the fact that some of its Member States have shown defiance of its resolutions – Israel is a clear example,” he said. “However, the United Nations, including the Security Council did not resort to the use of force against these countries.” Citing academic research, he said that countries other than Iraq were currently violating more than 90 Security Council resolutions, including 31 dealing with Israel.

Mr. Lamani voiced strong support for calls for a peaceful solution to the Iraq issue – one which preserves the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the UN’s credibility. Iraq’s decision to cooperate with the inspectors unconditionally, coupled with recent talks in Vienna on practical arrangements for achieving that end, were positive developments that should allow the Security Council to “play its mandated role in the maintenance of international peace and security, spare the region the catastrophes of war and destruction, and alleviate the suffering of the Iraqi people – a suffering that has endured far too long and must be ended.”

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