On one side is the ubiquitous USA/UK alliance, in the middle is the sea of diplomacy managed by Russia and the UNO with important contributions from senior statesmen and on the other, Iraq, its people resigned to the possibility of facing the collateral damage of the USAF.
Letter from Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan: “The decision of the Government of the Republic of Iraq (to allow weapons inspections) is the indispensable first step towards guaranteeing that Iraq no longer has weapons of mass destruction and of equal importance, towards a global solution which involves the lifting of sanctions imposed on Iraq and the timely application of other clauses in the resolutions belonging to the Security Council”.
Igor Ivanov, Russian Foreign Minister: “No new resolutions are necessary to bring the inspectors back to Baghdad”.
Tarek Aziz, Iraqi Vice Prime Minister: “America wants to control Iraq’s oil. The only way to do this is to destroy and divide Iraq and place a government there like it did in Afghanistan”.
Faruk Chareh, Syrian Foreign Minister: ”Iraq showed great flexibility in responding to the demands of the UN Security Council so as to avoid a military confrontation”.
Iranian Defence Minister, Real-Admiral Ali Chamkani: “The consequences of an American attack on Iraq would provoke unforeseeable situations for the United States and for the security of the region”.
Nelson Mandela, ex-President of South Africa: “If Saddam Hussein says that the UN weapons inspectors can return without conditions, what right has Bush to say that the offer is not sincere?”
US President George Bush: “It is time to act against Saddam Hussein and to guarantee the peace”.
Colin Powell, US Secretary of State: “It is not a letter of a page and a quarter written by the Iraqi Foreign Minister that changes everything at stake”.
Igor Ivanov: “Only the facts will tell if we can trust that letter or not”.
Joschka Fischer, German Foreign Minister: “It gives the United Nations the chance to work out a political solution”.
EU: “The acceptance of the inspectors is not enough. The Iraqi authorities will also have to guarantee their total cooperation”.
Melissa Fleming, spokesperson of the International Atomic Energy Agency: “We’ve been waiting to go back for four years. We are ready to leave”.
Tarek Aziz “The pretext to launch an attack has disappeared completely. The Americans imagined that Iraq would not take such a courageous decision. And, as soon as Baghdad made the announcement, the White House made a point of rejecting our decision and started to speak about tactics”.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru