The German government has issued a statement regarding the start of military action in Iraq. The press release of the German Cabinet reads that reports about the launch of a military operation "provoked great concern in the German government." The document stresses that "the German government together with France, Russia and other countries has made great efforts to guarantee peaceful disarmament of Iraq and to thwart the war, yet, regretfully, all the efforts to settle the conflict peacefully have failed." "Unfortunately, the quite successful way towards Iraqi disarmament through UN inspections has not been covered," the statement reads.
The document emphasises that "it is necessary to do everything possible to thwart a humanitarian catastrophe" threatening the Iraqi people and adds that "the German government hopes the military action will soon be stopped and the sides will try to prevent peaceful civilians from dying." "This primarily refers to the refusal to use weapons of mass destruction," the statement reads.
In addition, Germany says it is ready to support the UN in arranging humanitarian aid to "ease the sufferings of the Iraqi people." The German government's statement reads that "the UN and the Security Council should be given the key role in restoring peace in Iraq, with a major goal being the preservation of Iraq's integrity and assistance to its people in establishing a new state free from weapons of mass destruction that could become a respectable and prospering member of the family of world nations."