Germany Urges Continued Inspection, Peaceful Option to Iraq Crisis

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer on Friday urged the United Nations Security Council to strive for a peaceful option since the UN inspectors are making headways in weapon inspections.

Citing the example of Iraq's move to destroy missiles within the prescribed timeframe, he said this showed that peaceful disarmament is possible and that there is a real alternative to war.

Fischer also listed progress made by UN inspectors concerning Iraq's nuclear potential and biological weapons, and stressed that given the current situation and ongoing progress there is no need for a second resolution.

"Why should we leave the path we have embarked on now that the inspections on the basis of Resolution 1441 are showing viable results?"

He said the Security Council and the international community face an important decision, probably a historic turning point, with the alternatives being clear: disarmament of Iraq by war or disarmament by exhausting all peaceful means.

The risks of a military option are evident to all, he said, adding there is good reason to believe that the region would not become more stable rather more unstable through a war, and in the long term, international terrorism would be strengthened not weakened.

"If we succeed in implementing the effective and complete disarmament of Iraq with peaceful means, we will improve the framework conditions for a regional process of stability, security and cooperation, based on the renunciation of the use of force, on arms control and on a cooperative system of confidence-building measures.

People's Daily Online ---