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Iraq urges UN Security Council to halt war

Iraq's ruling Baath Party called on the UN Security Council to put an end to the US-led military offensive and force a withdrawal of the invading forces.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2003 14:37 IST

Iraq's ruling Baath Party called on Thursday on the UN Security Council to put an end to the US-led military offensive and force a withdrawal of the invading forces.

"We do not expect any foreign country to rush to combat with us to defend our nation; this is our duty and we are capable of doing it," said Ath-Thawra daily, mouthpiece of the Baath.

"But we ask the Security Council and the international community to act seriously to put an end to the aggression and to pull out invading forces from our land immediately," it said.

It accused the 15 members of the Security Council of remaining "spectators" to the week-old war launched by the United States and Britain aimed at deposing Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

"Isn't the outbreak of the aggression a good justification for Security Council members to act seriously and effectively to stop it, to defend international legitimacy and an independent state that is a member of the United Nations?" it asked.

The Security Council was due to resume a public debate on Thursday on the war in Iraq, with Russia supporting calls for a ceasefire.

In sessions on Wednesday, most speakers condemned the US-led military offensive, saying it was not authorized by the council and was likely to cause a humanitarian disaster.

In a new Iraqi lashing of Secretary General Kofi Annan, Ath-Thawra accused the UN chief of having "offered all facilities to the invading colonialists to pave the way for the invasion."

"These include the withdrawal of UN observers at the Iraqi-Kuwaiti borders and the pullout of (arms) inspectors from Iraq," it said.

The ruling party's daily pledged that Iraq "will come out victorious in this historical confrontation, and this victory will be the victory of the will of the Muslims, the Arabs and the free people in Iraq."

"It will be the victory of international law, freedom, dignity and law," it said.

The Security Council in November unanimously passed Resolution 1441 which demanded Iraq comply fully with weapons inspections of face serious consequences.

The United States and its allies abandoned a push for a second resolution spelling out further action against Iraq after staunch opposition by France and Russia, which both hold veto power.

First Published: Mar 27, 2003 14:37 IST