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it seems that an extension of the war on terrorism to Iraq will be not that easy.
OSLO, Dec 9 (AFP) - UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said here
Sunday that an attempt to extend the war on terrorism to Iraq would
be "unwise" and would require consideration by the UN Security
"Any attempt or any decision to attack Iraq today will be unwise
and could lead to a major escalation in the region," Annan said in
Oslo where he was to receive his Nobel Peace Prize Monday. "I hope
that it will not be the case."
"Any attempt to take military action in other parts of the world
would be something the (UN Security) Council would have to take up,"
Annan said, adding that a recent UN resolution against terrorism did
not envision use of force outside Afghanistan.
The United States said soon after the September 11 terrorist
attacks that it would take its war on terrorism to states that
harbored terrorists and some officials in the administration of
President George W. Bush said they considered Iraq to be high on
However top US officials, responding to international criticism
of that threat, have in recent weeks stressed that there were no
plans at present to attack Iraq and Annan said the war on terrorism
could be won only by all countries working together.
"I think we are all confronted with a struggle against
terrorism," he said, adding: "We win the fight by cooperation among
nations or we don't win it at all."
The UN secretary general described the unfolding situation
inside Afghanistan as "very complex and very difficult" and said an
international force needed to move in soon to help ensure stability
and the delivery of humanitarian assistance there.
Annan confirmed that December 22, the date the new interim
Afghan administration was due to take over in Kabul, "is a target
date" for deployment of an international force.
Details on the composition of the force and who was to lead it
would probably become clear in the coming week, he said.
Annan also cautioned powerful states with interests in central
Asia to temper their jockeying for influence in Afghanistan, saying
what the war-ravaged country required now was a goverment loyal to
the Afghan people and not "to one or another of its neighbors."
Stabilizing Afghanistan was a criticial task and "I believe it's
going to require the involvement of the international community for
a long time to come," he said.