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World reacts to arms inspectors

Inspectors want total cooperation from Iraq
Inspectors want total cooperation from Iraq

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start quoteThe attitude we are getting from the Iraqis at the moment is not sufficient.end quote
-- UK Ambassador to the U.N. Sir Jeremy Greenstock
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UNITED NATIONS -- The international community has given a mixed reaction to the progress report made by senior weapons inspectors to the U.N. Security Council.

Britain's ambassador to the U.N. said Iraq needed to move from passive cooperation to active cooperation if war was to be averted.

The U.N.'s chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, and Mohamed ElBaradei, in charge of nuclear-related inspections, presented their progress report to the U.N. on Monday.

Blix said that although there had been Iraqi cooperation Baghdad did still not accept the need for disarmament. ElBaradei said no evidence had been found of nuclear programs in Iraq and more time was needed for further inspections. (Full story)

British ambassador Sir Jeremy Greenstock said: "We have a catalogue of unresolved questions... and it is quite clear that this is not going to be resolved peacefully unless there is 100 percent cooperation from Iraq.

"(We need) not just access and process, but guidance to where the materials and documents are and the offering up for destruction of what the Iraqis have.

"It is a matter of attitude and the attitude we are getting from the Iraqis at the moment is not sufficient."

The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Negroponte, said the Blix-ElBaradei address had provided no evidence that Iraq was prepared to disarm.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who has publicly said his country will not provide forces for any campaign in Iraq, said he hoped inspectors would get more time.

"We are of the opinion that it is right what will probably be discussed and agreed today, namely that inspectors will get more time for their work," he said.

French President Jacques Chirac issued a statement repeating his call for more time for the U.N. inspectors to carry out their work while urging Iraq to fully comply with the searches.

Jim Bittermann, CNN's senior European correspondent, said France is "clearly asking for months rather than weeks."

A summit of European Union foreign ministers had earlier agreed that inspectors needed more time.

Russia's U.N. ambassador, Sergey Lavrov, echoed that call after hearing Blix and ElBaradei address the Security Council.

China -- a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council -- has also called for diplomacy to resolve the Iraq crisis, rather than military action. (China leads Asian protest to war)

Beijing's Deputy Ambassador Zhang Yishan to the U.N. said most Security Council members believed inspections should continue.

In the Muslim world anti-war, anti-U.S. demonstrations coincided with the diplomatic action at the U.N..

In Jakarta, Indonesia -- the world's most populous Muslim country -- protesters were told any attack on Iraq would also be an attack on the whole Islamic world.

Syria, Bahrain and Yemen all saw large public demonstrations.

CNN's Christiane Amanpour, speaking from Israel, said Israel and some of its neighbors would be glad to see Iraq's President Saddam Hussein removed but that there was little public support in any of the region's Muslim countries.

Meanwhile a former U.N. weapons inspector has said Saddam Hussein should go on trial, instead of being deposed through war.

"In a more ideal world Saddam should be on trial in The Hague next to Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity," Richard Butler told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"It's an established fact that his actions have led to the death of a million people," he said.

"Why isn't the world community saying you have to yield this man for trial?"


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