Italian Prime Minister is of the Opinion That Military Actions in Iraq are an Extreme Option

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi shared the opinion of the Russian President that military actions in Iraq were an extreme option. At the same time Berlusconi stated to journalists in the wake of his meeting with the Russian President that "one should find answers to questions, in particular, "where have 65,000 chemical charges disappeared, are there any direct connections with organizations which apply that kind of substances." The Italian Prime Minister stated that the answers should be obtained from inspectors in order for the UN Security Council to assess them.

Berlusconi stated that "active and unified actions of all countries were needed for pressure on Saddam Hussein resulting in efficient disarmament of Iraq." If that did not happen than, in the opinion of the Italian Prime Minister one would have to use force. But he was hopeful that it would not happen.

Berlusconi did not exclude that prior to attacking Iraq a new resolution of the UN Security Council would be required. At the same time he pointed out that resolution 1441 "contained clear-cut indication on possible military intervention if certain requirements of the resolution were violated." The Italian Prime Minister agreed with Vladimir Putin that if inspector would like to extend their inspection period then it was necessary to have that done. He also indicated that "there might exist differences of opinion on dates of intervention in Iraq." According to Berlusconi, resolution 1441 demands from Iraq to fully cooperate with UN inspectors. The Italian prime-minister stated that "according to the resolution Iraq has to take an inspector by his hand to deliver him to the location where previously a chemical plant existed."

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