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Zapatero urges UN toresolve Iraq crisis

1 October 2004

MADRID – Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero  has urged the United Nations to undertake initiatives to resolve the crisis in Iraq.

“Things are going badly in Iraq because we didn’t go through the United Nations. Things are better in Afghanistan because we did go through the UN,”  Zapatero said late Thursday at a joint news conference with visiting Bulgarian counterpart Simeon Saxe-Coburg.

Zapatero, whose Socialist government withdrew Spanish troops sent to Iraq by conservative predecessor Jose Maria Aznar shortly after the former took office in April, said it was vital UN members established a consensus on Iraq, leaving old differences aside.

“Spain does not want an initiative which opens old wounds but wants to see a consensus whereby a path is opened towards stability and democracy in Iraq,” Zapatero told reporters.

The Spanish leader reiterated comments made earlier in the week that it was up to the United Nations to organise any international conference on the future of Iraq, which under a French proposal would include representatives of the armed opposition.

“An initiative outside the aegis of the United Nations will not have positive repercussions. Within the United Nations we will be able to decide who participates at the conference,” said Zapatero, who noted that the situation in Iraq “is getting worse daily.”

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news