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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia, France, Germany Offer a Plan for Iraq

BERLIN -- French President Jacques Chirac announced that France, Germany and Russia submitted a proposal Monday in the United Nations for step-by-step disarmament of Iraq, part of a European drive to counter U.S. pressure for military action.

"The aim is to establish a timetable for Iraq's disarmament, program by program, relating to weapons of mass destruction," Chirac told reporters before talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

"In this context, we see no reason to change our logic, which is the logic of peace, and turn toward a logic of war."

The leaders said all means of peaceful disarmament had not been exhausted. Noting that Security Council Resolution 1441 already provides possibilities to strengthen weapons inspections, both Chirac and Schroederr have come out against a new resolution.

The United States and Britain planned to introduce a resolution Monday declaring Iraq in violation of obligations to disarm, UN diplomats said.

"We are both of the opinion that we want to achieve Iraq's disarmament peacefully," Schroeder said. "In that context, we want to do everything to ensure that Iraq fully meets the inspectors' demands."

Chirac did not elaborate on the proposal. However, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said over the weekend that it would be submitted as a memorandum to the Security Council.

"Iraq must disarm, must destroy its weapons of mass destruction. This goal can be achieved peacefully, through inspections," Chirac said.

Earlier, de Villepin said the inspectors were making progress and that the new proposal would set specific "milestones for disarmament."

The plan "will allow us to see whether things are progressing or not," said France's defense minister, Michele Alliot-Marie.

Schroeder, Chirac and their foreign ministers were meeting for dinner Monday in a Berlin restaurant reputed to be the capital's oldest -- and where lore has it that Napoleon once stopped.

In a divided Europe, France and Germany -- which currently chairs the Security Council -- are the key powers resisting the rush to war. Both are urging more time for strengthened UN weapons inspections and oppose a new UN resolution.

The United States and Britain were to introduce the new resolution on Monday finding Iraq in violation of its UN obligations, referring to serious consequences and declaring that Baghdad has not taken advantage of the final opportunity to disarm peacefully, Security Council diplomats said.

The resolution was expected to be accompanied by a deadline for a vote, which a spokesman for British Prime Minister Tony Blair said is expected by mid-March.

Britain's UN Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock was to introduce the resolution on behalf of London and Washington at a council meeting Monday afternoon, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

U.S. President George W. Bush told U.S. governors on Monday that the resolution "spells out what the world has witnessed the last months. The Iraqi regime has not disarmed. The Iraqi regime is not disarming as required by last fall's unanimous vote of the Security Council."

He pressed the council to adopt the resolution.

"It's a moment for this body ... to determine whether or not it's going to be relevant as the world confronts threats in the 21st century. Is it going to be a body that means what it says? We certainly hope so," Bush said.

The president said the administration would work with the Security Council "in the days ahead" on the resolution.

He did not set a timetable, though his spokesman said Britain's calls for a mid-March vote was fine with the president.

The resolution will state that Iraq remains in "material breach" of UN resolutions ordering its disarmament and refer to "serious consequences," the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It does not call for "all necessary means" to be used against Iraq.

Instead, its key enforcement paragraph will state that Iraq has not taken advantage of the final opportunity to disarm, which the council gave Saddam Hussein in its last resolution adopted unanimously on Nov. 8, the diplomats said.

The United States and Britain believe a declaration that Iraq is in "further material breach" would be enough to pave the way for military action against Hussein.

Top UN inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei say Iraq still isn't fully cooperating or providing evidence to answer outstanding questions about its nuclear, chemical, biological and long-range missile programs.

To demonstrate that Iraq is cooperating, Hussein must not only show that it is doing more to answer those questions.

He must also comply with Blix's order to begin destroying all Iraq's Al Samoud 2 missiles and the engines and components for them by Saturday.