The wheels of international diplomacy are turning, with the U.S. abandoning its belligerent discourse and the members of the Security Council coming together gradually over the final text of the document.
The U.S. no longer speaks of regime change through military action in Iraq (because it would be illegal under international law). Russia has agreed that a new resolution stipulating the details of the moves to be made by weapons inspectors and their Iraqi hosts would be useful. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has stated that Russia will welcome any wording which makes the mission of the UNMOVIC team clear, while France is also satisfied that President Bush has dropped previous references to unilateral military action. Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, now leader of the Centre-Right Party of President Chirac, declared that “French diplomacy has made itself heard”.
Colin Powell has expressed his satisfaction that the positions of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council are coming together. The sticky issue now is likely to be centred around access to the Iraqi Presidential compounds.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia