Germany says peace is the answer
By Emma Thomasson
BERLIN (Reuters) - Chancellor Gerhard
Schroeder says Germany, France,
Russia, China and the majority of the U.N.
Security Council still
believe Iraq could be disarmed peacefully and said
should go on.
"It is still possible to solve this
conflict peacefully," Schroeder told
the German parliament in a state of the
nation address on Friday. "The
inspections and the inspectors are an
important instrument that must not
be allowed to end now."
with our French friends, with Russia, China and the majority
of the Security
Council, we are more convinced than ever that the
disarmament of Iraq of
weapons of mass destruction can be brought about
The United States and Britain have agreed to continue
Monday on a resolution authorising military action in
some diplomats have suggested they may abandon a vote
than face rejection.
The United States needs a
minimum of nine votes in the 15-member
Security Council for approval of the
resolution, but amid a threat by
France to veto the measure none of six key
undecided nations said they
were ready to support the
Instead, they told the council in a closed-door session on
would submit their own suggestions and see if they were
Britain, which has proposed six tests Iraqi President Saddam
must fulfil to avoid war.
Schroeder, whose vocal anti-war
stance has infuriated the United States,
said recent reports by U.N. weapons
inspectors showed that the Baghdad
government was cooperating more actively
in disarmament. He also noted
Iraq`s destruction of al-Samoud
"With an extended inspection regime, we can achieve a lasting
verifiable disarmament and that is why it was and remains right that
have insisted on the logic of peace rather than entering into a logic
war," he said.
Schroeder said Iraq must cooperate with
controls so that economic sanctions under which the
Iraqi people were
suffering could be lifted finally.
said Germany could only fulfil its responsibilities in a
order of peace and justice" if it did so on the basis
of a strong, united
But Schroeder made no mention of the idea of a "two-speed"
Union built around an inner core of the EU`s six founding
pushing ahead with closer integration while less enthusiastic
like Britain remained outside.
Media reports had suggested
that Schroeder`s speech could raise the
idea, discussed by Schroeder and
Italian Prime Minister Silvio
Berlusconi at talks earlier this month, because
of deep splits within
the EU over