Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Russia Hold Last-Minute Telephone Consultations on Iraq

The foreign ministers of France, Germany and Russia have held last-minute telephone consultations on Iraq, reports Francois Rivasseau, official spokesman for the French Foreign Ministry.

According to the spokesman, the ministers have discussed coordinated efforts to extend the mission of UN weapons inspectors in Iraq and to disarm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein peacefully. New proposals and initiatives were also examined, Mr. Rivasseau says. This past Saturday, Paris, Berlin and Moscow issued a joint communique urging the UN Security Council to opt for a non-military solution to the Iraqi crisis, he recalled.

As the French Foreign Ministry spokesman pointed out, now is not the right time for military action against Iraq, with the UN and IAEA weapons inspectors working very competently and effectively and achieving more than was initially planned.

As Russian Audit Chamber chief Sergei Stepashin told RIA Novosti, Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov is going to New York City to attend a UN Security Council session on Iraq later today.