Tuesday, February 25, 2003

France, Germany reject US draft resolution and will propose their own
"France and Germany remained determined to seek a peaceful solution to the Iraq crisis despite a US-proposed second UN resolution to allow the use of force against Baghdad, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said today. "We do not see any reason to modify our position after learning of the draft resolution," he told a joint news conference with French President Jacques Chirac after the two held a dinner meeting.

"We believe that a peaceful disarmament of Iraq is possible on the basis of the existing resolution, 1441," Schroeder said. Chirac said he had "exactly the same" opinion as Schroeder, and said "a majority of the UN Security Council is opposed to a second resolution" to allow the use of force to disarm Iraq. France, backed by Russia, China and Germany, was to put a counter memorandum calling for strengthened inspections of Iraq's arsenal.

"France has said it plans to present a memorandum on expanding weapons inspections in Iraq at the Council meeting, due to start at 3.30pm (0730 Tuesday AEDT). The apparent counter to the US move will be co-signed by Russia and Germany."

Typically, the Herald headline has completely failed to convey the drama of this report, that France, Russia, Germany and China are apparently going to directly confront the US by rejecting their draft second resolution and proposing their own resolution extending the inspections. This should be front page banner headlines.

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