UK six tests proposal gets cool response

13 March 2003
The UK proposal to set six tests Saddam Hussein must meet to avoid military attack has met with a cool response from both hawks and doves on the UN Security Council. The six demands, announced by UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw on 12 March, are: a statement by Saddam Hussein admitting that he has concealed weapons of mass destruction, but will no longer produce or retain them; the delivery of at least 30 scientists for interview outside Iraq, with their families; the surrender of all anthrax, or credible evidence of its destruction; the destruction of all Al Samoud missiles; an account for all unmanned aerial vehicles, including details of any testing of spraying devices for chemical and biological weapons; the surrender all mobile chemical and biological production facilities. The UN Security Council spent several hours discussing the proposal.

US ambassador John Negroponte told reporters that the US could countenance a 'modest extension' to the 17 March deadline originally envisaged, if other countries are in favour. However, Washington remains insistent that a second resolution must be voted on in the next couple of days. Under the UK proposal, the six tests would not be formally incorporated into the second resolution but would be accepted by all as the benchmark by which Saddam Hussein's compliance would be measured. London's latest attempt to achieve a second resolution acceptable to all on the Security Council failed to win French or Russian support. After the discussions in New York, French ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere said: 'There is still on the table a draft resolution which authorises the use of force; that is what is at stake.' Paris opposes any resolution allowing military action against Iraq. Russia's response was little more encouraging. 'It's still about war and peace and we are not convinced that this takes care of our concerns,' said Moscow's ambassador Sergei Lavrov. UK ambassador Jeremy Greenstock reported a positive response from the six 'swing' voters - Chile, Mexico, Cameroon, Angola, Guinea and Pakistan.

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