World Community Demands War in Iraq Be Ceased

The majority of those who spoke on Wednesday during the first day of the UN Security Council's extraordinary session on Iraq demanded that war in Iraq be ceased and the settlement process be returned in the UN jurisdiction.

When opening the session initiated by the League of Arab States and the Non-Aligned Movement, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called for restoring unanimity in the Security Council and for reaching a compromise among its members on introducing changes in the UN suspended humanitarian programme on Iraq in order to resume it.

Iraq's permanent representative to the UN Mohammed al-Dauri accused the UN Security Council of inactivity and called for an immediate end to war and withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraqi territory.

The overwhelming majority of the session's 49 participants made similar appeals and denounced the use of force in resolving the Iraqi crisis.

"The unilateral military action initiated by the USA and its allies is an act of aggression and should be stopped immediately," said the head of the Non-Aligned Movement Co-ordination Bureau, Malaysia's permanent representative to the UN Datuk Rustam Mohammed Issa.

It is necessary "to bring the efforts to find a solution to this complicated problem back under the UN Security Council's jurisdiction," he believes.

Malaysia supports an urgent settlement of the humanitarian catastrophe in Iraq, but at the same time "shares the opinion that the USA and its allies who launched the military action /and not the UN/ should bear the burden of providing the humanitarian aid," he announced.

The League of Arab States' (LAS) representative to the UN Yahya Mahmassani pointed out that "bombardments of Basra and Baghdad are destroying trust in the Security Council and in the whole system of international relations".

"Democracy cannot be enforced with tanks and combat helicopters," said Iran's representative Javad Zarif. "The Iraqi people may oppose their government, but as the recent days have shown, they will not accept liberation in the form of foreign occupation," he pointed out.

The debates lasted till late on Wednesday and are to be continued into Thursday. Russia's permanent ambassador to the UN Sergei Lavrov is expected to be among the speakers.