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Two items from the Foreign Office website 1) Brian Wilson BBC interview 26 February 2001 2) Tony Blair CNN interview 23 February 2001 URLs given with each item. 1) EDITED TRANSCRIPT OF AN INTERVIEW GIVEN BY FCO MINISTER OF STATE, BRIAN WILSON, FOR THE BBC, MONDAY 26 FEBRUARY 2001 http://www.fco.gov.uk/news/newstext.asp?4730 QUESTION: Are there to be any possible changes to sanctions policies against Iraq? BRIAN WILSON: Sanctions are perfectly legal. They have a clear objective which is to prevent Saddam Hussein rebuilding his weapons of mass destruction programme. I think it's quite clear that the precise intention of Saddam Hussein is to rebuild his weapons of mass destruction programme both nuclear and chemical. QUESTION: But we do know first of all that sanctions are hurting ordinary Iraqi people and that is causing a lot of disquiet in the West. BRIAN WILSON: There is no evidence that sanctions are hurting the Iraqi people. What is hurting the Iraqi people is the fact that Saddam Hussein is using the existence of sanctions as a propaganda weapon in order to deny to his own people the medical and food supplies which they need. QUESTION: But the point is that ten years after the Gulf War Saddam appears to be stronger than ever and has a lot more in the Arab world behind him than he had ten years ago. BRIAN WILSON: You can't measure the success of the last ten years simply in terms of whether or not Saddam Hussein is still there. He was not going to disappear in a puff of smoke because we all wished it that way. But the success of the past ten years has been the containment of Saddam Hussein and the fact that he is not in a position to use chemical weapons against his own people. The fact is that he is not attacking Kuwait and has not developed the weapons of mass destruction programme to which he so clearly aspires. 2) EDITED TRANSCRIPT OF AN INTERVIEW GIVEN BY THE PRIME MINISTER, TONY BLAIR, FOR CNN, WASHINGTON, FRIDAY, 23 FEBRUARY 2001 http://www.fco.gov.uk/news/newstext.asp?4724 QUESTION: Prime Minister, as you know President Bush's first and foremost goal with you is to establish a personal rapport with you. What is it that you have in common with President Bush? PRIME MINISTER: I think what is important is not just the personal relationship, although I am sure that will be good, but it is that the UK and the US have a very strong relationship together, we share the same outlook, we share the same values, we share much of common history and we usually are on the same side together on the big issues that face the world. So it is an immensely important relationship. QUESTION: Just a week ago you did have much in common to talk about with President Bush. Both US military forces and British forces bombed Iraq, President Bush called it a big success though half the targets were missed. Critics are saying that the bombing targeting has not worked in the last ten years and neither have the sanctions, they are now being treated as a joke. Do you think that there is a more effective way of dealing with Saddam Hussein? PRIME MINISTER: We have always got to look at the ways that we are dealing with him and how to make them more effective. But I think that people should understand that for the last 10 years he has been contained. Before then, when he wasn't being contained, he was launching the war against Iran, which cost a million lives, he was using chemical weapons against his own people, killing thousands of them, he annexed Kuwait and had to be repelled by the Allies back in the early '90s. You know this is a man that is a serial sinner when it comes to weapons of mass destruction and a threat to the external world, and I think it is important therefore that we take whatever steps are necessary to contain him, and our containment has basically been successful. QUESTION: How should the sanctions then be treated? One of the proposals on the table by the United States is to ease up on some of the sanctions, for example, by allowing flights into Iraq to allow things like medical supplies and food for children, but to still work with the Arab allies in trying to crack down on other sanctions. Can you have it both ways when the sanctions still have not worked? PRIME MINISTER: Of course we have in place, and it is important to point this out, the Oil for Food regime which actually allows Saddam to use oil revenues in order to provide humanitarian and medical aid for his people, but he chooses not to do so, he chooses instead to spend whatever money he can on his military base. But yes, of course, we have got to look and see how we make sanctions more effective, and in particular how we target those sanctions most effectively on limiting his ability to develop these extremely dangerous weapons. Milan Rai Joint Coordinator Voices in the Wilderness UK National Office 16B Cherwell St, Oxford OX4 1BG Personal contact details 29 Gensing Road, St Leonards-on-sea TN38 0HE ph 0845 458 9571 (local rate) pager 07623 746 462 -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com Full details of CASI's various lists can be found on the CASI website: http://www.casi.org.uk