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Transcript of doorstop interview: Federal Secretariat, 7 March 2003: Iraq.



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PRIME MINISTER

7 March 2003

TRANSCRIPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER THE HON JOHN HOWARD MP DOORSTOP INTERVIEW, FEDERAL SECRETARIAT

Subjects:

E&OE…………………………………………………………………………………………...

JOURNALIST:

Good morning Prime Minister.

PRIME MINISTER:

Good morning.

JOURNALIST:

The British Prime Minister, there are reports that he’s offering a compromise on the issue of Iraq, giving the weapons inspectors more time. Is that something you would entertain?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I’ve heard those reports, I think we should let the situation evolve. I certainly don’t see any fundamental change in the British position. The British position is essentially the same as that of the Americans and our own. And that is there must be effective disarmament and we can’t go on for another 12 years the way we have over the past 12. But let us see the situation evolve in the Security Council. The message to the Security Council is that if it doesn’t act effectively its credibility will be crippled.

JOURNALIST:

But is the prospects of that second resolution being tasked now dead in the water?

PRIME MINISTER:

Well I don’t think you can ever make remarks like that in relation to the Security Council. I remember on the eve of the passage of resolution 1441 people were making all sorts of claims www.pm.gov.au

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and in the end everybody voted for it. It’s really not over until it’s over, if I can put it that way, and I think we should all understand that the Security Council is an interesting body and in the end I would hope that it has an eye to its place in the future firmament of the collective security of the world because if it passes up this opportunity to demonstrate its relevance then it may never be quite as relevant again.

Thank you.

[ends]