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[casi] Rumsfeld and Fischer at the security conference in Munich

Here are some promising (?) news items from Germany.

Translated quotes from German GermanNews (radio snippets),
Feb 8, 2003:

-- "Rumsfeld and Fischer at the NATO-security conference"

"Munich. Speaking at the Munich Nato-security conference,
US Defence Minister Rumsfeld has defended his country's
unrelenting position on the Iraq conflict. The US was
doing everything possible to prevent an attack, said Rumsfeld.
And it was inexcusable that three Nato countries are refusing
to aid Turkey in the case of an Iraq war, said the US defence
minister, but did not mention Germany by name.

"Germany's Foreign Minister Fischer reiterated that the
disarmament of Iraq need not culminate in war. Fischer told
US defence minister Rumsfeld that the priorities of the US
were not clear to him. The international community had, after
all, still work to do in Afganistan, and the task of breaking up
Al-Queda was not yet completed. Furthermore, no strategies
for a post-Hussein Iraq had been defined. Fischer emphasized
that German scepticism should not be understood as anti-Americanism."

-- "French-German Iraq Peace-Initiative"

"Berlin. Germany and France appear to be serious about
their planned Iraq peace-initiative. On Thursday, German
Chancellor Schroeder will submit this plan to the Bundestag.
So far neither Berlin nor Paris has provided any details.
However, the German news magazine "Der Spiegel" claims to
have some information on this French-German initiative.
Apparently the plan is to send UN blue helm forces to Iraq
to monitor Iraq's disarmanent. The UN forces are to be
given a so-called robust mandate, ie, the mandate to act in
self-defence. The plan is currently being discussed with
the EU, the Russian president Putin, and the Chinese
president Hu Jintao, according to the magazine.

"It appears both countries [France and Germany] want to
have the weapons inspections in Iraq supervised by UN blue
helm forces. Germany would participate in this mission. And
French reconnaissance planes are to support the inspectors.
In addition, the sanctions against Iraq are to be tightened."
---End of quotes---

What do make of this? "Tightening" the sanctions??

-- Elga Sutter

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