Mexico and Chile to Abstain on Iraq

According to high diplomatic sources, this would be the final decision of the two Latin American representatives at the UN Security Council.

Last statements and declarations addressed by Mexican and Chilean diplomats in New York, confirm that both nations with seats at the UN Security Council are moving forward an abstention vote on the new resolutions proposed for Iraq. A decision of this nature would be in harmony with the position of Brazil and Argentina, the two other "big players" on Latin American foreign affairs.

"The international community is looking for a peaceful solution to the Iraqi conflict", said Mexico's President Vicente Fox, during the visit of the Canadian Prime Minister, Jean Chretien, to Mexico DC. Canada is trying to propose a new resolution, in which the United Nations would give Iraq time until March 28 to disarm. If Hussein does not comply with it, then the international community could make use of the military force.

Mexico has backed UN inspectors work and considers necessary to give more time to them to disarm Iraq peacefully. However, Fox warned: "If Saddam (Hussein) and Iraq decide not to comply with inspectors' requirements, then things could change."

On the other side of the continent, things do not look to be different. The Chilean Ambassador to the United Nations, Juan Valdez, confirmed Thursday that his country would not support any of the two resolutions proposed. "By the time we cannot find a common agreement between both positions, we won't support any partial resolution", said Valdez in New York.

Valdez accused the five permanent UN Security Council members of using the elected seats not to assume their own responsibilities. "This divided council is leaving the final decision in the hands of the elected members, while the five permanent members persist in their positions", Valdez told reporters.

Mercosur countries had also stated their position on Iraq. Main block representatives, Argentina and Brazil confirmed that they would not support a war in Middle East by not sending troops to that region. Also, urged the UN Security Council to assure a peaceful solution to the conflict, indirectly pressing Mexico and Chile to adopt a Latin American common strategy.

"The Latin American countries with seats at the UN Security Council, Mexico and Chile, are studying abstention", said Argentine Foreign Minister, Carlos Ruckauf, to the local press. "As per (George W.) Bush comments last days, the war is imminent and this conflict will not end in Iraq. It may extend to Korea and consequently China."

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Argentina

Photo (Reforma): Mexico's Vicente Fox and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, during the visit of the last one to Mexico DC on Thursday

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Author`s name: Editorial Team