British Parliament Demands Emergency Statement on Iraq
By Gavin Cordon, Whitehall Editor, PA News
Tony Blair was today facing calls for an emergency Commons statement on the crisis over Iraq which is now threatening to undermine the Nato alliance.
The Tories warned that the bitter dispute between the United States on the one side and France and Germany on the other had called into question Nato’s ability to fulfil its “basic function” to defend the West.
“The Government should come to the House of Commons and explain what steps they are taking to restore Nato’s credibility,” said shadow defence secretary Bernard Jenkin.
“Unless Europe and the United States are united in the face of rogue states, weapons proliferation and terrorist networks, the Saddams and bin Ladens will be the only winners.”
The row reached boiling point yesterday after France, Germany and Belgium blocked a move to send Nato missile batteries to defend Turkey in the event of a war breaking out.
It showed no sign of abating today, with Foreign Secretary Jack Straw expected to use a keynote speech to pour scorn on Franco-German plans to triple the number of United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq in a final attempt to avert conflict.
Britain has so far tried to avoid inflaming the transatlantic war of words – fearing it would damage their hopes of securing a fresh UN resolution specifically authorising the use of force.
But in a speech to the International Institute of Strategic Studies, Mr Straw will state bluntly that no amount of extra weapons inspectors can guarantee Iraqi disarmament without the full co-operation of the Baghdad regime.
“If Saddam bows to the UN demand and co-operates promptly, what is the need for greater numbers of inspectors? If he maintains his refusal to co-operate, how will higher numbers help?” he was expected to say.
“Lethal viruses can be produced in an area the size of the average living room. In the absence of Iraqi co-operation, even a thousandfold increase in Unmovic capabilities will not allow us to establish with any degree of confidence that Iraq has disarmed.”
How can we manifest peace on earth if we do not include everyone (all races, all nations, all religions, both sexes) in our vision of Peace?
The WorldPeace Banner
To the WorldPeace Peace Page