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No editorial comment, Powell tells Paris, Berlin

September 07, 2003

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WASHINGTON, Sept 6: US Secretary of State Colin Powell bluntly told France and Germany to come up with solid proposals for revising a new UN Security Council resolution on Iraq instead of only criticizing the US draft.

Mr Powell, who said earlier that Washington would be willing to adjust its proposal to address the concerns of countries like France and Germany, advised Paris and Berlin that they needed to back up their complaints with substantive and constructive suggestions for improvement.

“Both the French president and German chancellor said they saw this as a positive step, but (said) it didn’t go as far as they might like to see it go and they would like to see it be of a more demanding nature,” Powell told reporters.

“I’ve heard those comments, now I’d like to see specifically what they are proposing and what their representatives in New York are proposing,” he said after meeting with Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez.

“If you didn’t like it in this particular format and you want to see something different, then make a proposal in addition to an editorial comment,” Powell said.

French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said on Thursday the US draft did not go far enough in returning Iraq to self-governance quickly.

France and Germany are are also wary of any move to “legitimize” the war against Iraq that they vehemently opposed.

The draft resolution asks the Iraqi Governing Council in cooperation with the US-led occupying powers and the United Nations to provide a timeline for creating a new constitution and holding democratic elections.—AFP