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[casi] Germany, Text on Iraq

[ Presenting plain-text part of multi-format email ]

February 14, 2003

Statement by Joschka Fischer, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, at 
the Public Meeting of the Security Council on the situation between Iraq and Kuwait

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to thank Dr. Blix and Dr. ElBaradei for their update on the inspections in Iraq. They 
have briefed us on the substantial progress of their work but also on deficits in the Iraqi 
regime's cooperation with the inspectors.

These deficits must be rectified by Baghdad without delay. Iraq must not be allowed to possess any 
weapons of mass destruction and must disarm completely. Baghdad must actively and fully cooperate 
with UNMOVIC and the IAEA and comply unconditionally with the requirements of the relevant 

The inspectors have reported on headway they have made: the first private interviews with Iraqi 
experts have taken place without official escorts. The problem of U2 aerial surveillance has been 
resolved. Helicopters, Drones, Mirage and Antonov aircraft are to be put at UNMOVIC's disposal to 
ensure comprehensive surveillance from the air.

The inspectors have thus been able to score some successes. Already today their presence on the 
ground has substantially diminished the danger emanating from Iraq. The need now is to gain 
experience with the new measures in place and evaluate them in the light of our common goal of 
ensuring Iraq's complete disarmament. Why should we now turn away from this path? Why should we now 
halt the inspections? On the contrary, the inspectors must be given the time they need to 
successfully complete their mission.

How we proceed from here is laid down by Resolutions 1441 and 1284. What is crucial are the 
resolutions' three core elements: cooperation, inspection and verification.

Firstly, Iraq must cooperate fully, unconditionally and actively with the inspectors if the looming 
tragedy is to be averted.

Secondly, the inspection regime must be made more efficient. France has made very concrete 
proposals on how this can be done. These envisage increasing the number of inspection teams and 
improving the technical resources at their disposal. In addition, the inspectors' capacities for 
coordination, surveillance and concrete action need to be spelt out precisely and strengthened. We 
strongly support these proposals, for they help ensure a response more appropriate to the size of 
the task.

Thirdly, and in parallel with the inspections, the verification and monitoring mechanisms called 
for in Resolution 1284 need to be developed and expanded. An ongoing long-term monitoring regime 
must prevent any future rearmament. We need structures that guarantee Iraq's disarmament and 
containment on a permanent basis. That is of immense importance for the whole region.

Such a reinforced inspection and verification regime could also be of service to the United Nations 
in other crises involving weapons of mass destruction.

Ladies and gentlemen,

All possible options for resolving the Iraq crisis by peaceful means must be thoroughly explored. 
Whatever decisions need to be made must be taken by the Security Council alone. It remains the only 
body internationally authorized to do so.

Military action against Iraq would - in addition to the terrible humanitarian consequences - above 
all endanger the stability of a tense and troubled region. The consequences for the Near and Middle 
East could be catastrophic.

There should be no automatism leading us to the use of military force. All possible alternatives 
need to be exhaustively explored. That was once again reaffirmed by the Governments of Russia, 
France and Germany in a Joint Declaration issued on Monday. Diplomacy has not yet reached the end 
of the road.

Thank you.

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