France and Russia maintain opposition to second resolution

10 March 2003
UN Security Council members opposed to imminent resort to force against Iraq maintained their opposition to a US/UK second resolution. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told the UN that Paris could not accept an ultimatum while weapons inspectors were still reporting progress on disarmament. Blix said on 7 March that the inspectors needed 'months' rather than weeks or years to complete the process. 'France as a permanent Security Council member would not accept a resolution allowing the automatic use of force,' said de Villepin. He warned that war without UN sanction would destabilise the region, damage the UN and result in the loss of innocent Iraqi lives. 'One country can win a war in Iraq but not a country alone can win a peace, for that you need the legitimacy of the UN.' De Villepin is to visit Angola, Cameroon and Guinea - three of the 'swing' voters on the Security Council - in the coming days. The others are Chile, Mexico and Pakistan. US State Department officials said on 7 March that they were making progress in convincing the six non-permanent members still undecided on whether or not to support the use of force, mentioning Mexico and Guinea as among those coming round to military action. However, Chile expressed opposition to the 17 March deadline proposed by the UK, saying: 'The Security Council delegates all have better chances of getting dates with Julia Roberts than Iraq does to disarm in 10 days.' Russia on 10 March came out against the resolution: 'We believe that no new resolution is required at this time but that it is vital to provide comprehensive support to the IAEA and Unmovic inspectors,' said Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current MEED.com package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications