Well, well...the Axis of Weasels is beginning to wake up and smell the cordite, er, coffee. Wonder if Canada will follow France's lead, and throw in with the Coalition against the terrorists?
Note the weasel-language thrown into the official statements of the French, Germans and Spanish mouthpieces...even in abject defeat, they are defiant!
Kobe's still a geek.
Germany, France Promise Support on Iraq
Tue Jun 8,10:30 AM ET Add Top Stories - AP to My Yahoo!
By EDITH M. LEDERER, Associated Press Writer
UNITED NATIONS - The United States called for a vote Tuesday on a revised U.N. resolution defining the new Iraqi government's powers. The measure appeared to have overwhelming support after a last-minute compromise won the backing of the war's sharpest critics, France and Germany.
U.S. Ambassador John Negroponte said he was "very optimistic" about the outcome of the vote scheduled for late Tuesday afternoon.
A last-minute addition to the resolution by the United States and Britain, summarizing Iraq (news - web sites)'s "security partnership" with U.S.-led forces, was the key compromise.
Under the proposal, Iraqi leaders would have control of the country's security forces, and Washington and Iraq's new interim government promised to work out a policy on how to cooperate on "sensitive offensive operations." The deal stops short of granting the Iraqis a veto over major offensives by U.S.-led troops.
France, Germany and others had sought such a veto for the Iraqis. Their pressure to give the Iraqi government due to take power on June 30 more authority prompted Washington and London to repeatedly alter their draft resolution.
Both countries said Tuesday they would vote for the latest version. Chile and other Security Council members were still hoping for more changes, and China, while it welcomed the compromise, did not say how it would vote.
Still, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said he expected the measure would win unanimous backing. "It should receive a very fair wind and good vote this afternoon in the Security Council," he told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.
The United States and Britain hope to send a united message to the Iraqi people that the international community supports the transfer of full sovereignty to the interim Iraqi government and wants the new leaders to work in partnership with the U.S.-led multinational force that is staying on to help ensure security.
U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi, who helped put together the interim government, told the Security Council on Monday that the way the relationship between the interim government and the multinational force is managed "will greatly affect the credibility of the interim government in the eyes of their people."
French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier said Tuesday, "We find many of our ideas in this text."
France would have liked a clearer definition of the relationship between the new Iraqi government and multinational force, he said.
"That doesn't stop us from a positive vote in New York to help in a constructive way find a positive exit to this tragedy," Barnier told France-Inter radio.
German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer also promised his country's vote. "I hope that now there will finally be a stabilization of the security situation in Iraq," he said.
Spain, which said the earlier drafts did not go far enough, said it will support the latest version, Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos said.
Ahead of the vote, Secretary-General Kofi Annan (news - web sites) scheduled a meeting of the Group of Friends of Iraq, comprising 47 nations and the European Commission (news - web sites). Annan was expected to press for support for the interim government at the forum, which was set up to exchange views and share advice with key interested parties including Iraq's neighbors.
French President Jacques Chirac, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and President Bush (news - web sites) met last weekend at celebrations in Normandy to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings.
The occasion was seen as a way to find reconciliation between the United States and France, which led opposition to the war in Iraq. The rift that developed threatened trans-Atlantic ties.
France "obtained lots of improvements" in the resolution, Barnier said. "That proves that there was a real dialogue for the first time in this affair."
"The Americans clearly understood, after months and months of military operations, that there was no way out by arms, by military operations in Iraq," the foreign minister said. "Washington understood that we have to get out of this tragedy by the high road."
France wanted the resolution to state clearly that Iraq's interim government will have authority over its armed forces, that Iraqi forces can refuse to take part in operations by the multinational force, and that the new government could veto "sensitive offensive operations" by the U.S.-led force.
The draft sent to the 15-member Security Council on Monday did not include these proposals. But the United States and Britain revised the draft to welcome the exchange of letters between Iraq's new prime minister and Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web sites) addressing the security relationship.
In those letters, the two sides pledge to work together to reach agreement on "the full range of fundamental security and policy issues, including policy on sensitive offensive operations."
The letters also note "that Iraqi security forces are responsible to appropriate Iraqi ministers, that the government of Iraq has authority to commit Iraqi security forces to the multinational force to engage in operations with it."
Russian President Vladimir Putin (news - web sites) said Monday that "there is every reason to believe that this work can produce a positive result," according to Russia's Interfax news agency.
China said Tuesday it hoped the United States and Britain will "seek the widest consensus" on a final resolution.
"The new draft has many improvements. The Chinese side welcomes it," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said, without revealing how Beijing would vote.