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Re: France on sanctions (fwd)

Surely the reason why France is proposing an end to weapons inspections is
that the events over Christmas make any prospect of a reasonable
continuation of the inspections as anything more than an exercise in
prolonging sanctions extremely unlikely.

France continues to share the view taken by the other permanent members of
the SC and the UNSCOM report that there are still considerably finds to be
made in Iraq.

It does not help our argument that sanctions should be lifted to promote
the view that Iraq does not continue to possess serious military
capabilities or the capacity to redevelop them very quickly.  The best
chance of sanctions being lifted is if the campaigners against the
sanctions accept the realistic view that we cannot just walk away and
allow Iraq to continue to possess weapons of mass destruction.  And the
argument that Israel has them too is a non-starter, because it does
nothing to address the instability in the Middle East which Iraq is
causing, or the genuine fear felt by Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain of
reprisal attacks.  Having accepted this commonsense view, we can then go
on to support the French government in pointing out that the inspections
regime is no longer a realistic option, the sanctions are acting in a
counterproductive way and fuelling support for the Baath regime, and an
agreement has to be reached with Iraq that removes those sanctions which
are having a serious effect on the people of Iraq whilst continuing to
monitor the uses to which these things are put, including oil revenues.

Working with the French is the best prospect for the lifting of sanctions.
This will ultimately require us to understand the position of the British
government, who will need some convincing, but if our objection to
sanctions is genuinely founded on humanitarian grounds, then we should all
be able to accept that pragmatically this is the best way forward.

Christ's College
St. Andrew's Street
Tel: 01223 767817
College Fax: 01223 334967
Home Tel/Fax: 01293 425146

On Wed, 13 Jan 1999, Robin Green wrote:

> France proposing to end weapons inspections?!? I am genuinely surprised 
> at this - if they publicly propose this aren't they implying that the 
> probability of finding any more "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq is 
> very low - contrary to the statements of the US and Britain?
> This is highly significant I think. Will watch for more developments.
> --
> Robin
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
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