Germany Says New Proposal Probably Won't Lead to Compromise

Published March 13, 2003

| Associated Press

Germany said Thursday that a new British proposal setting out conditions for Iraq's disarmament is unlikely to yield a compromise on a U.N. Security Council resolution.

The British proposal is "not a real compromise approach" because it still "basically gives an authorization for war," said Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's national security adviser, Bernd Muetzelburg.

Germany, a non-permanent Security Council member, insists that the time for military action has not arrived and U.N. weapons inspectors should be given more time to disarm Iraq.

Even British Prime Minister Tony Blair apparently has little hope that his approach can overcome the diplomatic impasse at the United Nations, said Muetzelburg, who attended a Wednesday night meeting between Blair and Schroeder in London.

"We did sense a certain resignation among our British partners that we talked to," Muetzelberg said on ARD public television.

"I think one has realized in Britain, that the draft resolution with the basic approach that I mentioned ... probably will not lead to a success," he said.

France, which unlike Germany holds a Security Council veto, also rejected the British proposals Thursday.

"It's not about giving a few more days to Iraq before resorting to force but about resolutely advancing through peaceful disarmament," French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said in a statement.

Germany, France and Russia have called for the United States to give a chance to strengthened weapons inspections instead of resorting war.

Germany has "absolutely no problem with making specific disarmament demands of Saddam Hussein" but rejects a mechanism that leaves Iraq "a very short time" to meet the demands before triggering war, Muetzelburg said.

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