Monday, February 10, 2003

French and German Late peace bid: Send in UN troops
"France and Germany have developed a secret plan to avoid war against Iraq which would see thousands of armed United Nations troops enforcing Saddam Hussein's disarmament. Permanent UN arms inspection post set up in Iraq, plus a UN court for breaches of UN weapons and human rights resolutions. Iraq would effectively become a UN protectorate while a greatly expanded weapons inspection team, supported by the troops, moved in to uncover and destroy weapons stockpiles. The French-German proposal, dubbed Project Mirage, has been developed secretly in Paris and Berlin over the past six weeks.

"The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, meeting European defence and security ministers in Munich, said he had not had an official briefing on the plan. He was reportedly told by Mr Struck that "we are not ready to talk yet". US officials with Mr Rumsfeld were angry at what was seen as another snub from Germany. "That's not the way to have a winning hand with the United States," one said."

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