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Iraq calls for peaceful end to crisis

>From the BBC:

Friday, November 6, 1998 Published at 12:08 GMT 

Iraq calls for peaceful end to crisis 

Iraq calls for peaceful end to crisis Iraq says it wants a peaceful
solution to the crisis with the UN over weapons inspections, but says it
is ready for a military confrontation if necessary.

The official newspaper, Ath-Thawra, in a commentary on Friday, accused the
United States of using the language of menace.

It said that Iraq was merely claiming its legitimate rights, and was
encouraging efforts to resolve the conflict.

The statement was the first Iraqi response to the decision by the Security
Council to adopt a new resolution condemning Baghdad's decision to stop
co-operating with UN weapons inspectors.

The resolution stopped short of threatening military action but did not
set a timetable for lifting sanctions - a condition Iraq has demanded for
any reversal of its decision to cut all dealings with the inspectors. 

The council condemned Iraq's decision to halt co-operation as a "flagrant
violation" of UN resolutions.

The inspectors are trying to establish whether Baghdad has a stockpile of
nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

The council is united in its call for an immediate U-turn from Iraq, but
it remains divided on what to do if Baghdad refuses. It made no explicit
threats to use force if Baghdad did not comply.

The United States and Britain say they are already authorised to take
military action from previous resolutions, but that has been rejected by
other council members.

Acting US ambassador Peter Burleigh said President Bill Clinton and
Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had emphasised that ''all options
are on the table and the US has the authority to act".

But Russian ambassador Sergey Lavrov warned that any attempt to use force
would have "highly unpredictable and dangerous consequences" for regional
peace and future UN efforts to monitor Iraq's weapons programmes. 

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