France, Germany, Russia to vote for UN draft resolution on Iraq

France, Germany and Russia will vote for the United Nations' draft resolution about Iraq, the one that was proposed by the anti-Iraqi coalition, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin announced in Paris on Wednesday evening after a round of consultations with his Russian and German counterparts, Igor Ivanov and Joschka Fischer.

Speaking at a joint briefing staged at the French Foreign Ministry immediately after the ministers' talks with French President Jacques Chirac at Palais de l'Elysee, de Villepin explained the common position the three countries had assumed in respect of a military operation in contravention of the UN Security Council's decisions.

France, Germany and Russia "welcome the openness and readiness to work together" that the USA, Great Britain and Spain displayed when they "came back to the UN to listen to their partners' opinion," the minister reported.

The draft resolution submitted to the UN Security Council was a "result of the sides' willingness to compromise," he stressed, adding that lengthy discussion had resulted in "important progress," although the text did not "reach out as far as France, Germany and Russia would like it to." Paris, Berlin and Moscow decided to vote in favor of the draft resolution and "search for a consensus in the framework of the Security Council," having opted for "unity of the world community," de Villepin emphasized. He said this unity would be the "best guarantee of the efficiency and legitimacy of actions" the world community must take in Iraq and the Mideast in general.

He went on to stress that the three countries in question had "opted for responsibility" because they recognized "the urgency of tasks" one had to solve in Iraq.

In the meantime, the proposed draft resolution is "not exactly brilliant," but it does take account of France, Germany and Russia's apprehension "at a level of principle as well as at a level of execution." That is, it envisages "the United Nations' return" into the settlement process through a special envoy appointed by the UN secretary-general. It also stipulates that the UN Security Council has to be regularly informed of the goings-on and "inserts the actions of the anti-Iraqi coalition into the framework of international law." The document also stipulates that "the use of revenues from the sale of the Iraqi oil will be monitored by the international council which will include representatives of the UN and international financial institutions," de Villepin said. He also stressed that the draft resolution points to the need of implementing the contracts signed earlier and of the importance to confirm Iraq's disarmament." On the whole, the French premier stated, the proposed draft is a firm basis for the further progress and it may be widely supported by the Security Council.

Villepin, on his own behalf and on behalf of his Russian and German counterparts stressed that the Iraqi people should determine, as soon as possible, its future and form the government which will be supported throughout the world.

Russian foreign minister Igor Ivanov pointed out that Moscow "welcomes the fact that Washington and other authors of the draft resolution on Iraq returned to the UN." "We believe the approach to the elaboration of this decision to be constructive," Ivanov stressed and pointed to the importance of the draft being oriented to the future and that it does not have a retrospective force." The minister also spotlighted the fact that there were more aspects which united the countries of the anti-Iraqi coalition with Russia, Germany and France than those which disunited them.

Igor Ivanov also stated that we should counter global challenges, for instance, terrorism and narcotism only jointly and that the unanimously adopted resolution on Iraq will be an important step towards the consolidation of efforts in the struggle against common challenges."

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