Kofi Annan critisizes war in Iraq

Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday that the U.S.-led invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein was illegal because it violated the United Nations Charter, and questioned whether Iraq will be able to hold an election in January if the violence gripping the country persists.

In an interview with the British Broadcasting Corp., &to=http://english.pravda.ru/world/2003/03/20/44753.html' target=_blank>Mr. Annan said the 15-member Security Council should have approved the March, 2003, invasion for it to have been considered legal.

"I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN Charter from our point of view; from the Charter point of view, it was illegal," he said after being questioned repeatedly about whether he considered the war illegal. "I hope we don't see another Iraq-type operation for a long time . . . without UN approval and much broader support from the international community," reports the Globe and Mail.

According to CNS News, resolution, 1441, &to=http://english.pravda.ru/usa/2003/03/27/45167.html' target=_blank>warned Iraq that it faced "serious consequences" if found to be in material breach of earlier resolutions prohibiting it from actions including the development of weapons of mass destruction.

Annan said that there should have been a second U.N. resolution, specifically authorizing war against Iraq.

Howard said in radio interviews Thursday that the invasion of Iraq had been "entirely valid in international law terms."

"That was a legal opinion we obtained from the relevant people in Australia. There had been a series of Security Council resolutions and the advice we had was that it was entirely legal."

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