U.N. envoy seeks more pressure on Iraqi government

Kyodo

A Japanese envoy to the U.N. urged the international community Wednesday to turn up the heat on Iraq to cooperate with arms inspections.

“It is essential that the international community remain resolute and put maximum pressure on the Iraqi government in order to make it comply with the (U.N. Security Council) resolutions,” remarked Koichi Haraguchi, permanent representative of the Japanese mission to the U.N.

Speaking at a public meeting of the Security Council on the Iraq issue, Haraguchi stressed that maintaining international solidarity is the key to resolving the crisis and that the U.N. could act as an effective instrument.

He also appealed for the adoption of a new council resolution, saying Japan hopes that the council will make the necessary and appropriate move.

Haraguchi also cited Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi as telling the U.N. General Assembly last month that the international community “must pursue the adoption of necessary and appropriate Security Council resolutions as soon as possible.”

According to Haraguchi, Japan supports strengthening the framework for inspections in Iraq, such as unlimited access to presidential sites.

The public meeting kicked off Wednesday with addresses mostly by Arab nations sympathetic to Iraq that voiced concerns about military action, with Tunisia saying there is no proof Iraq has weapons of mass destruction.

Western countries called for a stiffer resolution, with Australia saying it believes Iraq is plotting to obtain such weapons.

The meeting is expected to see more than 60 nations deliver addresses.