Japan-Iraq Foreign Ministers' Meeting (Summary)

On September 14, Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi met with Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. The summary of their discussion is as follows;

1. Requesting Iraq to Allow U.N. Weapons Inspections

Foreign Minister Kawaguchi strongly urged Iraq to accept the immediate, unconditional and unrestricted resumption of U.N. weapons inspections, noting the attention now being focused on the situation by international society. She stated that Iraq's implementation of the relevant U.N. resolutions would contribute to global peace and stability, and that Iraq would be ensuring its own security by complying strictly with the resolutions.

2. Foreign Minister Sabri's Statement

(1) Foreign Minister Sabri stated that Iraq is not taking a negative view on allowing inspectors into the country, and that it is not opposed to the idea; noting that Iraq has allowed inspections to take place for the seven years in the past.

(2) Foreign Minister Sabri also stated that claims of Iraqi attempts to obtain weapons of mass destruction are baseless propaganda aimed at creating an excuse for an invasion of the nation. He said that Iraqi sovereignty is being violated every day by American and British bombing raids in the no-fly zones in the north and south of the country, and that it is necessary to secure the safety of the people of Iraq. Foreign Minister Sabri added that Iraq is not a threat, but rather a victim of threatening behavior, and that the United States is seeking to force a change in the nation's political structure and control its oil resources through military force. He also remarked that Israel, too, is in possession of nuclear and chemical weaponry.

(3) With regard to Japan, Foreign Minister Sabri commented that in the past friendly relations existed between Japan and Iraq, but in recent years Japan has adopted a more adversarial attitude toward Iraq in the international arena. He expressed the hope that relations between the two countries could become friendly once again.

3. Repeated Requests from Foreign Minister Kawaguchi

(1) Foreign Minister Kawaguchi noted that Japan is a nation that loves peace, and that as the only nation suffered nuclear attacks, Japan strongly seeks the abolition of all weapons of mass destruction. She stated that if Iraq does not possess any such weapons, it should allow weapons inspections to take place.

(2) Last, Foreign Minister Kawaguchi responded to Foreign Minister Sabri's statement about Israel's possession of nuclear and chemical weaponry, saying that Iraq should not seek to shift the issue. She made clear Japan's commitment to the nonproliferation of nuclear weapons and urged Iraq to abandon all such weapons of mass destruction.


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