Letter from Prime Minister of the UK Tony Blair to Latvia's Prime Minister, February 17, 2003

02.12.2014. 19:09

Dear Prime Minister

I much regret that it was not possible to reach agreement on extending this evening-s extraordinary European Council to include Heads of State and Government of the Accession Partners and Candidates. As you know, I had argued that you should be present and able to contribute fully to the debate. I wanted therefore to write to share my own impressions of our discussion with you.

We had a good debate in which colleagues spoke forcefully on the absolute need for Iraq to comply actively, immediately and unconditionally with its disarmament obligations. This was crucial for international peace and security and, as Kofi Annan emphasized in a powerful presentation to the Council, to the authority of the United Nations. All agreed that Saddam had not co-operated fully with the inspectors and that the onus remained firmly on him. I believe the statement we agreed at our meeting sends a strong signal of EU unity behind UNSCR 1441 and reaffirmed our commitment to ensure its implementation.

In my own remarks, I emphasized three points. First, the authority of the United Nations. UNSCR 1441 is explicitly the final opportunity for Iraq to comply with its disarmament obligations after twelve years of prevarication. Yet we have still not had the truth and Iraq has still not co-operated on the substance of its obligations. The issue the international community must face is Saddam-s failure to co-operate with its demands not how much time is needed for inspections.