Damascus Declaration states stress peaceful solution with Iraq
Regional, Politics, 11/12/1998
Foreign Ministers of the Damascus Declaration states asserted at the conclusion of their meeting in Qatar the need of maintaining a peaceful settlement between Iraq and the UN while they asserted the need of Iraq's commitment to the implementation of all UN Security Council resolutions.
The ministers had expressed their views during the meetings. Foreign Minister of Qatar, the host country of the meeting, stressed that a durable settlement "for the Iraqi crisis will be only made through Iraq' s implementation of all UN resolutions." He called upon the Iraqi government to give up its decisions in halting cooperation with UNSCOM.
Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said that his country backs a diplomatic solutions for the Iraqi crisis. He added that "the Arab world is no more in need of problems." He called upon Iraq "to accept the UN Security Council resolution because this resolution implies what is sought by Iraq." He added that "If Iraq seeks the interest of the Arab world it has to accept this resolution and avert us catastrophe and more calamities on the Iraqi people."
Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mousa expressed hope that "political efforts will continue and succeed in eliminating this crisis" and "urged on the importance of avoiding any military choice."
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Muhammad Bin Mubarak al- Khaleifa said that "Israel every day places an obstacle on the Palestinian track." When asked if Bahrain will allow the use of the US military bases in his country to strike Iraq, he said "we will spare no efforts for the diplomatic solution" as Bahrain is a member at the UN Scecurity Council and "we will do our utmost to implement UN resolutions by peacefull means."
Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Jamil Hujeilan, said the ministers will discuss Iraq, the Middle East peace, Syria-Turkey tensions, the situation in Afghanistan, the tensions between Iran and Afghanistan, and the Iranian occupation of the three United Arab Emirate islands.
Kuwait's deputy Premier and foreign minister Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah stressed that his country "had never opposed convening an Arab summit conference in the presence of Iraq." He told journalists "Kuwait is not an obstacle before convening an Arab summit." Replying to a question on the current crisis between Iraq and the UN he said "I would never have wished Iraq to be persistent in taking this decision (halting co-operation with UNSCOM)." He noted that this (Iraqi) decision will damage the "brotherly" people of Iraq who are very dear to us. He considered the "decision taken by Iraq as constituting a grave danger to Iraq and the Iraqis.
Replying a question on whether Kuwait will provide facilities or military bases to the Americans if Iraq will be attacked, the Kuwaiti FM said "There is a US military base and US and British troops in Kuwait" asserting "Hopefully, our brothers in Iraq would realize that this issue (the current crisis) is a danger on the people of Iraq."
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