Posted by andreas from p3EE3C247.dip.t-dialin.net (18.104.22.168) on Friday, September 27, 2002 at 1:43PM :
French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin
Shame upon him! Is this an ordinary US Marine hair trim ??
And look - this traitorous smile ...
France opposes regime change in Baghdad while U.S. tries to win support for tough U.N. resolution
France does not favour any unilateral action against Iraq to remove President Saddam Hussein, Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said in an interview published Friday.
"If we were to aim at changing regimes, then we are going into a process where we do not know where to end," Villepin told The Hindu newspaper. "Also, who is to judge which regime is good or bad? It will be a source of instability and other countries might be a target after Iraq," he added.
In the present crisis, Villepin said Iraq needed to agree to the unconditional return of UN weapons inspectors and that if it failed to comply, the UN Security Council could meet again to consider action. He noted that any action should be the responsibility of the United Nations, not the United States. "Let us not pre-judge Iraq," the minister said.
"We want the international community to send a strong signal to Arabs and other countries that there was no hidden agenda," Villepin said. "And if Iraq failed on compliance, the Security Council could meet again and consider various options."
Despite this stance, the United States intensified efforts to win over Russian and French support for a toughly-worded U.N. resolution on Iraq but Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday he "was a long way from getting an agreement."
The state department dispatched Undersecretary of State Marc Grossman to Moscow and Paris Thursday to help sell the U.S. plan for a resolution that would lay out a tighter timetable for Iraqi compliance with weapons inspections and authorize force if Saddam fails to do so.
In a sign of U.S.-British agreement on the direction of a resolution, Grossman will be accompanied by a British diplomat. "We are a long way from getting an agreement but we are working hard," Powell told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in Washington.
The United States had hoped to push through the resolution by Monday, Sept. 30, when chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix is due to hold talks with Iraqi experts in Vienna to finalize plans for the inspectors' return. (Albawaba.com)
France not for unilateral action against Iraq
By K. K. Katyal
PARIS SEPT. 26. France today rejected — in clear, unambiguous terms — the idea of unilateral action against Iraq and called for keeping the United Nations in the picture.
The stand of France was elaborated by its Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, in an exclusive interview that covered a wide range of issues, notably bilateral ties with India, the situation in South Asia and the future of Europe.
In reply to pointed queries on Iraq, he made out a strong case for confining the current discussions to the return of weapons inspectors to Iraq and ensuring its compliance with the U.N. resolution in fulfilment of its obligations on nuclear non-proliferation. Changing of the regime is not the objective, the responsibility of the U.N. ``If we were to aim at changing regimes, then we are going into a process where we do not know where to end. Also, who is to judge which regime is good or bad? It will be a source of instability and other countries might be a target after Iraq.''
The present situation, according to him, needed to be treated in two separate phases — one, to assess the decision of Iraq (on unconditional return of inspectors to be precise about the technical arrangements, which, in any case, were there in Resolution 1284). There could be a new resolution on the same subject — practical arrangements for the return of inspectors, even though it is not absolutely necessary. But inclusion of the use of force in such a resolution was not acceptable — that would divide the international community at a time when consensus needed to be preserved. ``We want the international community to send a strong signal to Arabs and other countries that there was no hidden agenda. And if Iraq failed on compliance, the Security Council could meet again and consider various options." But that would be a separate phase, he said. The two phases were not to be mixed. "Let us not prejudge Iraq'' he stressed. Any action that became necessary should be the responsibility of the U.N., not of the U.S.
In pursuance of these objectives, France was in touch with Russia and China. As he saw it, India and France had identical views on the subject.
As regards India-Pakistan problems, he favoured resumption of dialogue between the two countries. ``The elections (in Jammu and Kashmir) mark an important stage in the return to stability. We condemn acts of violence.''
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