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UN Chief warns against Iraq attack

The United Nations Secretary General, Kofi Annan, has warned the United
States not to take action against Iraq as part of its declared war on
"Any attempt or any decision to attack Iraq today will be unwise in that it
can lead to a major escalation in the region and I would hope that will not
be the case," he said.
The secretary general aso said that the UN Security Council would need to
consider any such action.

He added that the only way to defeat terrorism was through long-term
international co-operation.
Mr Annan was speaking in the Norwegian capital Oslo, where he will be
presented on Monday with the Nobel Peace Prize for efforts by the UN to work
for a more peaceful world.
Washington has expressed concern that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is seeking
new weapons of mass destruction.
US Vice President Dick Cheney said on Sunday that Washington had still to
decide "as to how we proceed to make certain the United States is not
vulnerable to that kind of attack".
The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, had previously sought to calm
speculation about widening US military action, saying there were no
immediate plans to attack Iraq as part of the campaign against terrorism.
Afghanistan warning
Mr Annan said it felt "almost indecent" to receive the Nobel Peace Prize
amid so many international conflicts.
He added that the current situation in Afghanistan remained very difficult,
although details of a new multinational stabilisation force would shortly
become clearer.
The country would "require the involvement of the international community
for a long time to come", he said.
"I only hope that our attention will not wander."

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