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Re: Hain apologises

Britain sees the sacntions as a necessity and yet France sees them
as absurd.  I want to know just what argument Britain is using, to try
to convince France of the necessity of sanctions.  Clearly whatever the
argument is, France doesn't find it convincing.  How come the UK
government is convinvced and the French one isn't?
I would not be too surprised to learn that the only reasons for
UK and France taking their respective views is their own *vested interests*.
And I wouldn't mind knowing what these are.  To me it's become almost
how often I'm hearing that cliche about 'weapons of mass destruction',
it's like something out of Mark and Lard's "Vague News" (BBC Radio1).  It's 
such a broad term.  It suggests that they don't understand just what sort
of weapons they are talking about any more than they want us too.
It is well known that NATO's war in Kosovo had nothing to do with
'humanitarian' reasons, and yet this was the patronising line that the
government took in explaining to us the supposed necessity of this war.  In 
the case of the sanctions, Saddam's 'weapons of mass destruction' are the
official line we are given.
I want to know just what sort of weapons the government would have us
believe that Saddam is building or wants to build, whether the government
really believes all this, whether it's true, and just what the government's 
motives are.

--On Thursday, November 9, 2000 11:28 +0000 Voices uk
<> wrote:

> There's more about Hain's remarks in today's (9th November 2000) Times and
> Financial Times (UK Criticism mars EU unity on Middle East Unity) -
> though I couldn't locate the latter on their web-site.
> Lettes to and resp.
> Gabriel.
> ______________________________________________________
> The Times
> 9th November
> Hain apologises for calling Paris contemptible
> PETER HAIN, the junior Foreign Office minister, was forced to make a
> humiliating apology to France yesterday after describing French policy on
> Iraq as ?contemptible?.
> The fiery-tongued minister, who is responsible for Middle Eastern affairs,
> said: ?These were unscripted remarks in answer to questions on flights and
> Iraqi sanctions. We value our co-operation with the French Government . .
> . and are working with the French to achieve a common position on the
> flights issue . . . This is essential if Iraq is to move forward by
> international agreement.?
> His remarks contrasted sharply with comments he made at the Royal
> Institute of International Affairs on Tuesday. Although Britain and the
> US still enforce a United Nations embargo and patrol no-fly zones over
> the country, the sanctions policy has unravelled in recent weeks.
> Britain was clearly upset by the arrival of a large French trade
> delegation and two French flights to Baghdad.
> ?Frankly, French policy in Iraq has been pretty contemptible,? Mr Hain
> said. ?It will put back a resolution of the crisis. I think that the
> French have absolutely no illusions that we do not welcome their dabbling
> in this matter.?
> In addition to being very undiplomatic, Mr Hain?s comments were also
> poorly timed, since Robin Cook, the Foreign Secretary, was in Paris
> yesterday for talks with his counterpart, Hubert Védrine.
> Mr Cook faced fierce questioning by the French parliamentary foreign
> affairs committee over Britain?s policy, but, to his undoubted relief, no
> mention of Mr Hain?s gaffe.
> Jean-Bernard Raimond called the embargo absurd and said it should be
> lifted, a sentiment widely echoed by the committee. Mr Cook made plain his
> determination to resist any such moves, saying: ?If I thought that by
> hugging Saddam Hussein we could produce peace and friendship, then I would
> do it.?
> In his outburst Mr Hain also directed his criticism at friendly Arab
> states such as the United Arab Emirates, especially Dubai, which he
> accused of becoming a conduit for smuggled Iraqi oil. Nevertheless, the
> tirade is unlikely to have much effect. All of Iraq?s neighbours, apart
> from Kuwait, are building up trade with their former enemy.
> --
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
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