Press statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia

24.03.2004. 14:57

A meeting was held yesterday between the President of the United States and the Prime Ministers of Portugal, Britain and Spain in the Azores Islands to discuss the Iraq crisis and the current situation in the UN Security Council.

For the past twelve years, the international community has been unsuccessfully trying to disarm Iraq by peaceful means. Unfortunately, Saddam Hussein continues to ignore all relevant resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council and has not eliminated his weapons of mass destruction.

The limited cooperation shown by Iraq so far has only been due to the huge military build-up in the Persian Gulf. The diplomatic means available to achieve the disarmament of Iraq have been almost exhausted. The UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 1441, giving Iraq its last opportunity to disarm, or be disarmed.

Latvia urges the UN Security Council and the international community to preserve their unity and to put maximum pressure on Saddam Hussein's regime to use its last remaining opportunity to disarm by peaceful means.

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