Strasbourg, 06.02.2003 - Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly President Peter Schieder made the following declaration today:
"The information presented to the UN Security Council yesterday was disturbing. It certainly added weight to the case against Iraq. There should no longer be any doubt of the fact that the regime of Saddam Hussein is a threat to the Iraqi people, to its neighbours and to the world as a whole. There can no longer be any hesitation as to the necessity to act, effectively, to counter this threat.
What remains a legitimate question, however, even after the intervention by Secretary Powell, is what should be done, when it should be done and by whom.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe last week adopted a resolution which - in my view - accurately reflects public opinion in Europe as a whole.
The Assembly resolution asks all Council of Europe member, observer and candidate states to refrain from any action detrimental to the authority and role of the United Nations and to exclude any use of force outside the international legal framework and without an explicit decision by the United Nations Security Council. It also asks these countries to give their full support to the international inspectors and to provide them with any information and any means which might help them to complete their work. Withholding information from inspectors is against the spirit and the letter of Security Council Resolution 1441, whether it is done by Iraq or anyone else."
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