CNN BREAKING NEWS
NATO Calls Second Emergency Session
Aired February 10, 2003 - 06:10 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LORD ROBERTSON, U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: And clearly, if we haven't achieved agreement after three weeks of discussion, then that argument is of -- of a serious nature. But at the same time, I think people are focusing on it now in a very determined way that Turkey has asked for consultations under Article 4 and many of the countries concerned believe that that now focuses it in an unavoidable way on Turkey and its defense and that that may well lead our help to lead to a solution to the present problem, the existing difficulties.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
COSTELLO: All right, we're going to break away right now because you see it has ended. In case you're wondering, we want to make it clear as to what Lord Robertson was talking about, the Secretary- General of NATO, he was talking about France, Belgium and Germany all denying a request by Turkey to protect it in the case of a war with Iraq. Those three countries saying they're just not ready yet. It means there is disunity within NATO and that means that there's a serious disagreement in there among NATO members, of course, and that could mean trouble.
Let's go to Paris and Robin Oakley to explain more.
Good morning -- Robin.
ROBIN OAKLEY, CNN SENIOR EUROPEAN POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Carol.
Well this is all part of some very heavy diplomatic maneuvering which is going on in the lead up to the Security Council meeting on Friday which will hear Hans Blix's final report and take the next action in terms of Iraq.
Now what is happening here is France, Germany and Belgium are saying to the other 16 members of NATO that they don't want to take this decision yet on giving aid to Turkey. The aid requested is AWAC surveillance planes, Patriot antimissile batteries and help with chemical and biological warfare. They're saying it's too early to commit NATO to planning that action while there is still the hope of averting war in Iraq. They're saying the emphasis should be on diplomatic and political maneuvers.
Now this kind of division in NATO at this stage is highly embarrassing. Lord Robertson, the NATO Secretary-General there, admitting it was a serious matter. But he's saying the decision is -- it's all a question about when, it's not a question about if and that is supported by the French, one of the three nations there denying immediate help to Turkey. They're saying that if it comes to a real threat to Turkey, they will be the first to be beside Turkey -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Robin Oakley, reporting live from Paris, many thanks to you.
Of course these last few days have been hectic ones for the top inspectors Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei. The two chief weapons inspectors spent two days in Baghdad. They were there over the weekend. Iraq gave the inspectors 24 new documents, including information about anthrax, long-range missiles and the nerve agent VX.
Our Richard Roth is on the plane with Blix, and he was there when it left Baghdad today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HANS BLIX, U.N. CHIEF WEAPONS INSPECTOR: Of course we are aware that they can be buggy. We -- reminders are coming with us all the time, so one has to be -- if we are dealing with something that has been a secret on our side, like where do we go, what sites do we go to, well that is a very confidential matter. Really our course is not to have any leakages.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COSTELLO: Hans Blix is due back in New York on Friday to report to the U.N. Security Council.
Now, we want to take this story to the heart of the matter. Our Rym Brahimi joins us live from Baghdad with reaction to all of these fast-moving developments.
Rym, what's the reaction there?
RYM BRAHIMI, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, so far, Carol, all we know is what the Iraqi officials that have spoken to reporters have said, again, pledged more cooperation, again, insist there are no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. General Amir al-Saadi, the top scientific advisor to President Saddam Hussein, he was leading the delegation on the Iraqi side during the visit of Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei. He told reporters he felt Iraq had been truthful, had provided cooperation, had provided a lot in fact. He said that he had suggested, in addition to the 24 documents, had offered proposals to verify Iraq's position that it has no more weapons of mass destruction. And of course there's that issue of the U-2 high altitude surveillance planes. General Amir al-Saadi suggesting that there may be a solution before Friday when Hans Blix goes to the U.N. Security Council with a follow-up report on what's happening here in Iraq.
Now the general also seemed to say that that -- this -- that could be solved positively. He also said, however, that he expected Hans Blix and Mohamed ElBaradei to be fair. And a lot, as we know, hinges on what timetable we're looking at. And not everybody, as you know, Carol, has the same timetable and there are a lot of pressures on everybody -- Carol.
COSTELLO: Certainly are. Rym Brahimi reporting live from Baghdad this morning.
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