First Published: 2003-08-22

 
Iraq is decomposing: de Villepin
 

New UN resolution won't stop decomposition of Iraq, worsen cycle of violence.

 

Middle East Online

We told you

PARIS - Iraq is currently in a state of "decomposition" that will not be reversed until the Iraqi people recover their sovereignty, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said in a radio interview Friday.

De Villepin also told the private RTL radio station that a new UN resolution in which Washington was asking for other countries to bolster its occupying forces would simply "see the cycle of violence worsen".

The statement came amid continuing controversy over the massive explosion that destroyed the United Nations' headquarters in Baghdad, killing at least 23 people, on Tuesday.

"A logic of occupation must be rapidly replaced by a logic of sovereignty," the minister said, and questioned whether the current approach of the US-led coalition, which he said was "essentially security-oriented," had not failed.

The US-sponsored resolution, he said, "does not respond to the situation of the ground, which is both a situation of decomposition, of discouragement for the Iraqi people and at the same time a logic of confrontation."

The "security race," as he put it, was creating a trap in which Washington was seeking to reinforce its military might in Iraq while "Iraqi nationalists, Islamic fundamentalists and terrorists" were also increasing their activities targeting them.

"Nothing would be worse than to come up with temporary fixes, to try to shore up shaky foundations," he said.

Without the Iraqis feeling as if they were running their own country, "the risk is to see the Iraqi trap get bigger, to see the cycle of violence worsen.... It is clear today that the violence is sparing no-one, nothing.... Sabotage of water, oil pipelines, the Jordanian embassy, the UN, the US forces."

To put an end to all that, de Villepin said, the authority of Iraq's US-appointed interim Governing Council should be strengthened, then elections should be set up "perhaps by the end of the year" to put in place a provisional government.

He said such moves were "the condition for success" and should be the basis on which a new UN Security Council resolution should be drafted.

He said the resolution being touted by the United States meant France was confronted with "a big choice", and hinted that France felt that the US resolution would not clear up a "a certain ambiguity" posed by the US military occupation in Iraq.

But for all his criticism of the US path of action, de Villepin did not say that France would oppose the US resolution.

France, one of the most vocal opponents of the war against Iraq and one of five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council, has argued that the United States cannot ask nations to make a greater contribution to security efforts without relinquishing an element of control.

"To share the burden and the responsibilities in a world of equal and sovereign nations, also means sharing information and authority," Deputy French Ambassador Michel Duclos told the UN Security Council on Thursday.

But US officials insist there is no need for a broadening of the existing UN mandate.

US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday the United States was exploring a new UN resolution that would spur the deployment of more international troops in Iraq without ceding US operational authority.

Following talks in New York with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Powell said US and UN officials were discussing various measures aimed at improving the security situation in Iraq.

A senior State Department official in Washington said the text of a resolution could be ready as early as next week, "but we won't be looking for a vote until early September."

 

Chief negotiator of Syria opposition quits over failed talks

Iraq forces enter ISIS-held Fallujah from three directions

Bahrain appeal court ramps up jail sentence against Sheikh Ali Salman

Sanctions gone, Iran drums up business with West

In Iraq town, fans of Real Madrid gather in 'challenge to ISIS'

Egypt court sentences Brotherhood leader to life in prison

Kuwait jails members of ruling family for insulting Emir

Tunisia blames ‘terrorist elements’ for deadly landmine blast

Turkey offers to join forces for Syria operation -- without Kurds

Starving Iraqis risk all to flee crumbling rule of ISIS

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of sowing ‘sedition’ in Iraq

Israel police send Netanyahu spending file to prosecutors

Bahrain court upholds life terms for five 'spies'

Investigators need 12 days to recover EgyptAir black boxes

Iraq troops prepare for final assault on ISIS-held Fallujah

Iraq Kurdish forces launch offensive east of Mosul

Shipwrecks in Mediterranean claim up to 700 lives in one week

Iran blames Saudi Arabia for Hajj impasse

ISIS offensive triggers mass displacement in northern Syria

Without clear roadmap, Libya unity government fails to bring change

Iran moderate conservative retains parliament speakership

Iran delegation leaves Saudi Arabia without Hajj deal

Hundreds of civilians flee Fallujah area in Iraq

Khamenei urges Iran lawmakers to resist Western 'schemes'

ISIS-rebel clashes grip northeast Syria town

New US law could sanction Hezbollah officials

Thousands of protesters gather in central Bagdad

99 lashes for partying Iranian students

100,000 Syrians trapped after shock IS advance in Aleppo

Iran sticking to nuclear deal: UN watchdog

Turkey party seeks constitutional change to boost president's powers

Turkey accuses US of 'hypocrisy' on Kurdish militia in Syria

Israel environment minister resigns from 'extremist government'

US-led coalition pounds IS near Raqa

Tunisia mulls allowing women to serve in army

US-backed fighters battle IS near Syria stronghold

Tunisia tourism sees 'slight recovery'

UN envoy calls for economic rescue plan for Yemen

Bahrain jails 19 for attacks on police

Up to 30 dead in shipwreck off Libya

UN says Syrians will 'starve' unless aid improves

Christian homes set ablaze in Egyptian village 'love story'

Kuwait's main opposition group ends polls boycott

Twin offensives on IS edge forward in Syria, Iraq

Private firms to help in hunt for Egyptair black boxes