Iraq

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:30 pm on 10th February 1998.

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Photo of Robin Cook Robin Cook Foreign Secretary 3:30 pm, 10th February 1998

The present teams cover a large number of countries. Indeed, the last team to which Saddam Hussein took particular exception consisted of 44 inspectors from 17 different countries. It is wrong to suggest that a team containing members from 17 UN countries is dominated by one or two countries. We would welcome additional inspectors from other countries if they chose to take part in the exercise, if only because Britain pays for its own inspectors and therefore carries a share of the direct financial burden of the exercise. Inspectors must be effective, knowledgeable and capable of communicating in the common language of UNSCOM, which is English. We have no difficulty constructing an UNSCOM-plus, but we shall not settle for any outcome that gives us an UNSCOM-minus.