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USIS Washington 
File

19 February 1998

EUROPEAN LEADERS' STATEMENTS SUPPORTING U.S. POSITION ON IRAQ

(Released by the U.S. Department of State Feb. 17) (1820)



(The following compilation of statements by European leaders
supporting the U.S. position on Iraq was prepared by the Department of
State and released February 17, 1998.)


BALTIC STATES



Joint statements of the Presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania:


"We believe that strict compliance with international commitments,
including United Nations resolutions, is an uncontested obligation of
every country of the world community.


"We unequivocally support the United Nations resolution of destroying
chemical and biological weapons in Iraq. The United Nations Special
Commission should be allowed to continue its work without any
limitations.


"We believe all diplomatic avenues should be exhausted to solve the
current crises, but we also support other actions of the international
coalition that are necessary to guarantee compliance of Iraq with its
international commitments and demolition of weapons of mass
destruction.


"The Baltic States are ready, if necessary, within their means to
provide support to the international coalition to ensure
implementation of United Nations resolutions."


BELGIUM



Foreign Minister Erik Derycke spoke in favor of a settlement of the
crisis between the United Nations and Iraq by diplomatic rather than
military means. He called on the United Nations to take initiatives in
this direction. He pointed out that full responsibility for the
present crisis lay with Iraq. However, he stressed that during the
present "interim" situation all diplomatic initiatives must be
supported. He expressed the hope that Great Britain and the United
States will go back to the UN Security Council to heat the opinion of
other Security Council members. If these initiatives fail, the use of
force should not be ruled out as an ultimate solution to make the
Iraqi government give way.


"The Iraqi situation is very different from what it was in 1991 when
there was a war involving the international community as a result of
the invasion of Kuwait, a war conducted in accordance with a UNSC
resolution.


"In the present situation, Belgium will asses requests as they are
made. As a member of NATO it has obligations, but no requests have
been made at that level either."


CANADA



1) Prime Minister Chretien told Parliament on February 9 that, "If we
do not act, if we do not stand up to Saddam, that will encourage him
to commit other atrocities." He continued that "the choice is clear
(for Canada). It is a choice dictated by the responsibilities of
international citizenship, by the demands of international security
and an understanding of the history of the world in this century."


2) Defense Minister Eggleton explained that although Saddam says he
does not have chemical or biological weapons, the UN believes
otherwise. As such, Eggleton prefers, "to believe the UN and its
multilateral inspection team. Saddam Hussein has shown in the past
that we cannot trust his word." On Feb. 10, Eggleton said that if a
number of countries join the US-led military coalition, "this might be
enough for Saddam Hussein to back off and to comply with UN
resolutions."


3) Foreign Minister Axworthy at the UN Feb. 11 told reporters that
"This whole thing could be solved in 10 seconds if Saddam Hussein
lives up to the commitments made in 1991."


EUROPEAN COMMISSION



President Jacques Santer:



"Iraq must execute in an unconditional manner all the UN resolutions"
or face "grave consequences."


FRANCE



Office of the French President Jacques Chirac:



"France repeats that Iraq must scrupulously respect all the UN
Security Council resolutions. This is the only route that could enable
Iraq to be readmitted, when the time comes, into the international
community.


The President of the Republic made this clear to the Iraqi Foreign
Minister. He stressed "the extremely grave risks that will result from
a refusal by Iraq to accept the inspection of the 'presidential
sites.' Now time is running out."


GERMANY



Mr. Rudolf Scharping, Chairman of the SPD Bundestag Group:



"I would like to state the central issues once again. First, there is
only one individual who bears the responsibility for the current
confrontation with the United Nations, and that is Saddam Hussein.
Second, he has to see to it that Iraq satisfies all the UN
resolutions. Third, every possible political effort has to be made to
arrive at a peaceful solution. Fourth, the danger posed by Iraqi
weapons of mass destruction is a matter that no one can view with
indifference, and that is the case for all the other states in the
region, especially Israel, as well as for the Europeans and the
Americans. (applause) That is why Iraq should stop refusing to
cooperate, and if all the political efforts that are being made do not
result in success, a military operation cannot and should not be ruled
out in this case. (applause) The United States and Great Britain can
absolutely count on German solidarity."


Foreign Minister Klaus Kinkel:



"Incidentally, I believe that we Germans in particular have good
reason to work toward preventing a dictator from causing something
terrible yet again. There was one dictator who was stopped too late.
This one has to be stopped in good time. (applause)


"I personally pin hopes on Russia, Turkey, and France. At the moment,
if anyone has the connections making it possible to help, it is
undoubtedly these three countries. I hope it still proves possible to
arrive at a diplomatic solution.


"We are maintaining intensive contact with the United States and with
our partners and friends in the EU. However, our experience of Saddam
Hussein to date, and I believe that this is also of key importance,
shows that, unfortunately, he is only prepared to observe UN Security
Council resolution when he is under pressure. The international
community cannot simply accept always being made a fool of. That is
why the military option must remain available. He who wants a peaceful
solution in particular cannot waver in this regard."


LITHUANIA



Lithuanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Political Director Usackas:



"The Lithuanian Foreign Ministry condemns the refusal of (the) Iraqi
leadership to comply with resolutions by the United Nations Security
Council and allow UN weapons inspectors in to objects that are thought
to contain weapons of mass destruction."


THE NETHERLANDS



Prime Minister Kok:



"We all know how Saddam Hussein operates. We know that the
diplomatic-political channel should be matched with the threat of
sanctions and pressure.... We cannot wait indefinitely until Saddam
Hussein is finally again brought to reason. We must exert pressure."


NORWAY



Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek:



"Compliance with a binding resolution adopted by the United Nations
Security Council must be an absolute requirement. Norway has on a
number of occasions strongly deplored the lack of willingness on the
part of Iraq to fulfill its obligations and cooperate with UNSCOM. The
government considers it important that respect for the Security
Council as a guarantor of international peace and security is
maintained."


"If attempts at a peaceful solution are not successful, and military
action should be taken against Iraq, the government considers that,
taking everything into account, such action can be justified within
the framework of the Security Council's resolutions. The international
community has the right to ensure that Iraq complies with UN
resolutions."


SPAIN



President Aznar:



"This is the Spanish position. This crisis will be solved if Iraq's
government clearly complies with its obligation and does the right
thing. If not, the duty of the Spanish government is to let it be
known that other means might be used -- a possibility we do not look
forward to. But if these other means are finally used, Spain, I
repeat, will obviously live up to its commitments and side with its
partners and allies."


SWEDEN



Foreign Minister Lena Hjelm-Wallen:



"The government hereby warns that the United Nations will take firm,
unanimous action in Iraq. The resolutions passed by the Security
Council have to be respected, and Iraq's weapons of mass destruction
must be eliminated."


UNITED KINGDOM



Prime Minister Blair at the White House Joint Press Conference with
President Clinton on Friday, February 6, 1998:


"And what we agreed was that we had to do three things in particular.
We have first of all to make sure that our own public opinion was
properly educated as to why it's so essential that the UN inspectors
are able to do their work, the amount of weapons that they have
already uncovered in the six or seven years that they have been doing
this task, and why it is therefore absolutely essential that Saddam
Hussein is brought back into line with UN Security Council resolutions
and the inspectors can go about their tasks unhindered.


"Secondly, though, in relation to Iraq, it is important that we stress
all the time, of course we want a diplomatic solution, but it must be
a diplomatic solution based on and fully consistent with the
principles that we have set out. The question of whether there is such
a diplomatic solution rests ultimately with Saddam Hussein. He has the
choice. He can bring himself back into compliance with the agreements
he entered into, and then that diplomatic solution can be fulfilled.


"Thirdly, however, we have of course to prepare in case diplomacy
cannot work. In view of the situation, we in Britain have been looking
at our own military readiness in case a diplomatic solution does not
in the end prove possible. We have decided to base eight Tornado GR-1
aircraft in Kuwait, with the full agreement of the government of
Kuwait.


"Remember, he agreed -- he undertook to destroy any weapons of mass
destruction capability, whether nuclear, chemical, or biological. Now
he's in breach of that. We've got to make sure he complies one way or
another with it."


Foreign Secretary Cook:



Cook said that Kofi Annan has got to go to Iraq with two things.



"First of all, he has to go with the message that Saddam must carry
out the undertakings which he himself actually signed up to do, namely
to allow the UN inspectors to carry out their work without
obstruction, without refusal to get into certain sites, without any
no-go areas.


"... Secondly, he has got to go with the clear understanding of what
would be an acceptable outcome to the Security Council."


"... We are proposing a precise, specific military strike to carry out
by military means what Saddam is currently preventing us from doing
through the UN inspection regime, namely to destroy his chemical and
his biological weapons. But ... we would prefer a diplomatic
solution."


Doorstep interview with UK Foreign Secretary Cook and Mr. Salman
Rushdie in London:


"We have always stressed that we want to explore all diplomatic
avenues before any military action is taken, and we are very
supportive of the idea that Kofi Annan should visit Baghdad, provided
we are clear that Baghdad will treat him seriously...; the objective
must be effective inspection by UNSCOM that stops Saddam Hussein
(from) acquiring chemical and biological weapons."