11 February 2003
The following is a translated transcription of the full text of a joint
declaration from Russia, Germany and France issued by French President
Jacques Chirac Monday after a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin,
who met German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder Sunday.
"Russia, Germany and France, in close coordination, reaffirm that
disarming Iraq, in accordance with the relevant resolutions since U.N.
Resolution 687, is the common objective of the international community and
must be achieved as soon as possible.
"There is a debate on how this should be done. This debate must
continue in the spirit of friendship and respect that characterizes our
relations with the United States and other countries. Any solution must be
inspired by the principles of the United Nations charter as were recently
quoted by the secretary general Kofi Annan.
"U.N. Resolution 1441, adopted unanimously by the U.N. Security
Council, provides a framework of which the potential has not yet been fully
"The inspections led by the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and
Inspection Commission (UNMOVIC) and the International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) have already produced results. Russia, Germany and France
favor the continuation of the inspections and a substantial reinforcement of
their human and technical capacities through all possible means and in liaison
with the inspectors, in the framework of the U.N. resolution 1441.
"There is still an alternative to war. The use of force can only be
considered as a last resort. Russia, Germany and France are determined to
ensure that everything possible is done to disarm Iraq peacefully.
"For the inspections to be completed, it is up to Iraq to actively
cooperate with the IAEA and the UNMOVIC. Iraq must fully accept its
"Russia, Germany and France note that the position they are expressing
is similar to that of a large number of countries within the Security
I'm a bit uncomfortable posting this transcript without further
comment. To me it seems a remarkable document. The World is on the
brink of another war, and I'm grasping for understanding of it all. I
assume that you are as well, and I believe resorting to the raw text of events
like this speech is probably the best way to work towards an informed opinion.
Thus, this node. That said, the last thing I want to encourage on E2 is
a stream of mindless news clips being posted. I'm gonna rely on the E2
editors to sort it out...