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Joint Statement on Iraq

BY Admin  March 5, 2003 at 2:24 PM EST

Our common objective remains the full and effective disarmament of Iraq, in compliance with Resolution 1441. We consider that this objective can be achieved by the peaceful means of the inspections. We moreover observe that these inspections are producing increasingly encouraging results:

– The destruction of the Al-Samoud missiles has started and is making progress

– Iraqis are providing biological and chemical information

– The interviews with Iraqi scientists are continuing.

Russia, Germany and France resolutely support Messrs. Blix and El-Baradei and consider the meeting of the Council on 7 March to be an important step in the process put in place.

We firmly call for the Iraqi authorities to cooperate more actively with the inspectors to fully disarm their country. These inspections cannot continue indefinitely.

We consequently ask that the inspections now be speeded up, in keeping with the proposals put forward in the memorandum submitted to the Security Council by our three countries.

We must:

– Specify and prioritize the remaining issues, program by program

– Establish, for each point, detailed timelines.

Using this method, the inspectors have to present without any delay their work program accompanied by regular progress reports to the Security Council. This program could provide for a meeting clause to enable the council to evaluate the overall results of this process.

In these circumstances, we will not let a proposed resolution pass that would authorize the use of force. Russia and France, as permanent members of the Security Council, will assume all their responsibilities on this point. We are at a turning point.

Since our goal is the peaceful and full disarmament of Iraq, we have today the chance to obtain through peaceful means a comprehensive settlement for the Middle East, starting with a move forward in the peace process, by:

– Publishing and implementing the roadmap

– Putting together a general framework for the Middle East, based on stability and security, renunciation of force, arms control and trust building measures.