Iraq's offer to readmit weapons inspectors was a constructive initial step, but nothing more, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said today.
The government had several reservations about the offer made in a letter to United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, Mr Downer told parliament. Most of its reservations were related to the undertakings left out. Those included guarantees by Iraq to allow the inspectors free and unfettered access to sites, people and documents and to destroy any weapons of mass destruction and the means to manufacture them, he said. "Australia will continue to support the endeavours of the (UN) security council to deal firmly with the threat posed by (Iraqi President) Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction," Mr Downer said.
Near the United Nations Glass Palace in New York, there is a metallic sculpture entitled "Evil Defeated by Good", representing Saint George transfixing a dragon with his lance. It was donated by the USSR in 1990 to celebrate the INF Treaty concluded with the USA in 1987