This snapshot, taken on
26/08/2003
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November 2002

BARONESS SYMONS DISCUSSES NEW SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION ON IRAQ (28/11/02)
Foreign Office Minister Baroness Symons spoke in the House of Lords on 28 November about UN Security Council Resolution 1441, saying the Resolution 'represents the considered and unanimous view of the international community that Iraq must end its defiance of the United Nations and comply with its obligations'. The Minister discussed the implementation of the Resolution and described the objectives and challenges facing the UN weapons inspectors, concluding 'In short, the choice is Saddam Hussein's. He can take the pathway to peace set out in the resolution or, by defying the international community's will, he can provoke military action.'
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'ROLE OF THE FREE PRESS IN FOREIGN POLICY' (26/11/02)
At the annual awards ceremony of the Foreign Press Association on 26 November, Foreign Secretary Jack Straw spoke of the role the revolution in communications has played in creating 'a real sense of a global community' and acting as a 'vital catalyst for global action to address the problems of war, famine, disease and oppression.' Mr Straw paid tribute to the media professionals who continue to risk their lives 'to shine light on abuses in dark corners of the world'. On Iraq, he said that every opportunity would be taken to communicate to the Iraqi people our aim of 'an Iraq which no longer possesses weapons of terror, no longer defies the UN, and no longer oppresses its people'.
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COMMONS DEBATE ON UN SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 1441 (25/11/02)
The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, opened a debate on Iraq in the House of Commons on 25 November and described the process of inspection set out in UN Security Council Resolution 1441. He answered four key questions about the resolution including what constitutes a 'material breach' and whether there should be a second resolution to authorise military action in the event of a breach. Mr Straw described the world community's backing of the resolution and emphasized 'we have no quarrel with the Iraqi people. We want to help them restore Iraq to its proper place'. He told the House, 'ultimately the choice falls to Saddam alone. Resolution 1441 is his 'final opportunity' to take the pathway to peace. But no one should be in any doubt of the world's resolve if he fails to take it'.
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THE INTERNATIONAL CODE OF CONDUCT - A 'CONCRETE STEP FORWARD' (25/11/02)
At the launch ceremony of the International Code of Conduct Conference on 25 November, FCO Minister Mike O'Brien welcomed the ICOC as 'the most concrete step so far' towards tackling the threat to international security of the proliferation of Ballistic Missiles. Mr O'Brien added that we should not 'forget our commitments to combating the proliferation of those weapons' of mass destruction. The need to control the proliferation of WMD 'has never been more acute', he said. The Minister cited Iraq and North Korea as examples of states that should comply with their obligations.
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'TIME TO KILL THE LIE THAT THE WEST IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE IRAQI PEOPLE'S SUFFERING' - STRAW (24/11/02)
According to figures provided to the UN Security Council, the Iraqi regime is holding up $2.3 billion dollars worth of humanitarian supplies, despite vigorous efforts by the UN to maximise humanitarian relief to the Iraqi people. The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said 'The latest 'Oil for Food' figures give the lie to Saddam Hussein's propaganda. While he claims that sanctions are to blame for Iraqi suffering, his own regime is denying the Iraqi people access to medicines and other humanitarian relief. Those who defend Saddam should see his regime for what it is - a dictatorship which cares nothing for the Iraqi people'.
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NATO: UNANIMOUS SUPPORT FOR IRAQ RESOLUTION (21/11/02)
In an interview for BBC's 'Newsnight' on 21 November, the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw spoke about discussions on Iraq during the first day of the NATO Summit in Prague, saying the newly expanded NATO had reached 'a unanimous statement agreed in respect of Iraq, giving full backing to the United Nations and to resolution 1441'. Asked whether a vote on military action against Iraq would be put to MPs in the UK, Mr Straw said 'Our preference has always been for a further resolution from the Security Council and that would then be put to the House of Commons for further endorsement just as this original 1441 resolution is being put before the House for endorsement on Monday'.
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NATO SUMMIT MUST DELIVER 'SERIOUS INTERNAL REFORM' (20/11/02)
Ahead of the NATO Summit in Prague on 20 November, the Secretary of State for Defence, Geoff Hoon, and Chief of the Defence Staff, Rear Admiral Sir Michael Boyce, briefed the press on the expansion and transformation of NATO, saying there is a need for 'serious internal reform to maintain NATO's efficiency and effectiveness' and that 'Implementation will be the key challenge' of the Prague Summit. Questions were also taken on the UN resolution on Iraq and the response to recent Iraqi attacks on British and American aircraft in the No Fly Zone.
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THE IRAQI REGIME'S TREATMENT OF WOMEN (20/11/02)
In a statement on 20 November, the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he gave his full support to efforts to 'highlight the appalling suffering of Iraqi women at the hands of Saddam Hussein'. Speaking ahead of a joint press conference on 21 November by the International Alliance for Justice and Open Democracy on 'The Unheard Voices of Iraqi Women', Mr Straw gave credit to the speakers, all free Iraqi women, for 'their courage in speaking out'.
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'THE BALL IS NOW IN SADDAM HUSSEIN'S COURT' - STRAW (18/11/02)
Speaking in an interview for BBC Radio 4 on 18 November, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, outlined the objectives and structure of the United Nations Security Council Resolution on disarming Iraq. He said the resolution was backed unanimously 'not least because everybody around the table in the Security Council accepted that this set out a series of steps, a pathway to a peaceful resolution of this crisis not a series of automatic triggers'. He said 'The ball is now in Saddam Hussein's court', and expressed his 'hope that in practice Saddam Hussein does indeed comply'.
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SADDAM'S 'FINAL OPPORTUNITY TO COMPLY' (18/11/02)
In an interview for BBC Breakfast on 18 November, the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw spoke about the return to Iraq of UN weapons inspectors and the processes that will be invoked if the Security Council Resolution is breached. He said the fact weapons inspectors had been allowed to return to Iraq vindicated the robust approach: 'you have to back sensitive diplomacy with a credible threat of force for the diplomacy to work'. He also warned that this is Saddam Hussein's 'final opportunity to comply with international law and the rule of the United Nations Security Council'. Responding to reports of a possible gas attack on the London Underground, the Foreign Secretary said he knew of no specific threat, but that 'People have however to be on the alert because it is public that we are one of a number of countries which the Al Qa'ida organisation would wish to target if they could.'
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'WE DO NOT WANT WAR, WE WANT SADDAM DISARMED' (17/11/02)
In an interview for ITV's Jonathan Dimbleby on 17 November, Foreign Office Minister Mike O'Brien spoke about the imminent return to Iraq of the United Nations weapons inspectors, saying 'Every country on the Security Council hopes that this will be a way of avoiding war; that Saddam will comply with international law and military force will not have to be used'. He described the new Resolution as 'a genuine final opportunity' for Saddam Hussein, but emphasised that 'We cannot allow international law to be continually breached, and the level of threat to be increased by Saddam.'
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STRAW STATEMENT ON RETURN TO IRAQ OF UN WEAPONS INSPECTORS (17/11/02)
In a statement on 17 November ahead of the return to Iraq of United Nations weapons inspectors, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, said that 'if Iraq tries to obstruct their work or embarks on another elaborate game of hide and seek, the patience of the international community will run out'. He said the international community has 'every confidence' that the weapons inspectors, who are expected to return to Iraq on 18 November, would report back 'without fear or favour'. 'It is time to end the decade of obstruction and deceit', he concluded.
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'IMPERATIVE' FOR IRAQ TO COMPLY WITH INSPECTORS (17/11/02)
In an interview for Sky News on 17 November, the Foreign Secretary Jack Straw spoke about the return to Iraq of United Nations weapons inspectors, saying 'the imperative on [Saddam Hussein] is that he complies fully and in every particular with the new piece of international law laid down unanimously by the Security Council'. He said the resolution clarified that 'there is a difference between some technical inadvertent breach and some deliberate material breach and that is reflected in the language'. The Foreign Secretary also responded to reports of a planned poison gas attack on the London Underground, and explained the decision taken on 15 November to advise British nationals against travel to Yemen.
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STRAW STATEMENT ON IRAQ'S CONFIRMATION OF INTENTION TO COMPLY WITH UNSCR 1441 (13/11/02)
The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, has welcomed the confirmation that Iraq intends 'to comply with its disarmament obligations'. However, Mr Straw went on to say that we must remain 'vigilant', as Iraq is notorious for changing its mind. He continued, 'The next step is for Iraq to provide an accurate, full and complete declaration of all aspects of its biological, chemical and nuclear weapons programmes by December the 8th. Let there be no doubt that any failure by Iraq to comply with its obligations will lead to serious consequences'.
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PRIME MINISTER SETS OUT STRATEGY FOR FIGHTING TERRORISM (11/11/02)
In his annual address to the City of London on 11 November, Prime Minister Tony Blair set out the Government's strategy to combat the threat of 'extremism driven by fanaticism', personified either in terrorist groups or rogue states. We now live in a world where 'dangers can strike at any time, across any national boundary and in pursuit of a cause with which there can be little or no rational negotiation, Mr Blair said; tackling these 'non conventional' threats cannot be done by conventional means alone. 'The dilemma,' he added, 'is reconciling warning people with alarming them; taking preventive measures without destroying normal life.' In conclusion, the Prime Minister said: 'The interdependence of the modern world has never been clearer; the need for a common response never greater; the values of freedom, justice and tolerance of our diversity never more relevant; and the need to apply them fairly across the world never more urgent.'
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SADDAM FACES THE 'CHOICE OF HIS LIFETIME' - STRAW (10/11/02)
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4 on 10 November, Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, said that whilst Saddam Hussein is 'one of the most evil and unpleasant dictators in human history', he did not believe that he is irrational and 'he now understands that he faces the choice of his lifetime'. If he does comply with United Nations Security Council resolution 1441, then the prospect and the justification for military action will recede, he said, and added that the international community will know whether he is serious about complying by 7 December, the deadline by which Saddam has to produce a complete disclosure of his weapons of mass destruction and the means for producing them.
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STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR GREENSTOCK TO THE UN SECURITY COUNCIL (08/11/02)
Following the unanimous passing of Resolution 1441 on Iraq on 7 November, the UK's ambassador to the UN, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, told the Security Council that the adoption 'clearly stated that the United Nations will no longer tolerate [Iraq's] defiance.' 'Iraq is being given a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations; a final opportunity to remedy its material breach of Security Counil Resolution 687,' he said. 'The regime in Baghdad now faces an unequivocal choice: between complete disarmament and the serious consequences indicated in Operational Paragraph 13... There is at last a chance that Iraq will finally comply with its obligations and that military action can be averted.'
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'A FINAL CHANCE FOR IRAQ' (07/11/02)
Delivering a statement to the House of Commons on 7 November, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, reported that a revised draft Resolution on Iraq had been circulated to all members of the UN Security Council yesterday. Summing up the outcome of the negotiations on the new Resolution, the Foreign Secretary said: 'As the negotiations at the Security Council enter their final stage, we are approaching a critical moment for the whole of the international community and for the integrity of our system of international law. By adopting this Resolution, the Security Council will send the clearest possible signal of its determination to uphold the authority of the United Nations. And we will be one step closer towards resolving a problem which has undermined the security of Iraq's neighbours, and the wider world, for over a decade.'
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'UN CLOSE TO FINALISING RESOLUTION ON IRAQ' (07/11/02)
Following a meeting of the UN Security Council on Iraq on 6 November, the British Ambassador to the United Nations, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, gave in an interview with Channel Four News in which he said that the deal, which has nearly been finalised, would make war with Iraq less likely. Asked whether the resolution would allow the United States to take unilateral action against Iraq in the event of a non-compliance or non-cooperation, Sir Jeremy said that any action would have to be discussed by the Council first. 'All members of the Council are committed to a two phase process,' he said, 'and the second phase kicks in if the inspectors report a non-cooperation or non-compliance act by Iraq and then the Council will immediately meet that.'
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'A TOUGH NEW RESOLUTION ON IRAQ' (05/11/02)
In an interview given to BBC Radio 4 on 5 November, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, responded to questions on the UK's alliance with America over Iraq. He reaffirmed that the overwhelming preference of both the UK and the US was for a peaceful resolution to the problem of Saddam Hussein and his weapons programme. However he reiterated at the same time that the only reason Iraq had begun to show signs of compliance was that the diplomatic effort so far had been backed up by the legal use of force. 'I've always made it clear that we will always in the United Kingdom act within our obligations in international law,' he said. 'But we have to maintain our options if in the event, which I do not believe will happen, the United Nations fails to meet its responsibilities today to deal effectively with the defiance by Saddam Hussein of international law.'
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