Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Written Evidence

Memorandum from Mr A Qavi

  I wish to draw to the committee's attention the report on the deliberations at the International Conference held at Ditchley Park over the weekend 12-14 April, 2002 which appeared in International Herald Tribune, London on 18 April last year. Appearing under the byline of William Pfaff and headlined "The NATO allies are drifting apart" it highlighted the division between the Americans and its European allies about war on terror.

  The article made it clear that the war on Iraq, according to US participants, was being planned not because of any threat of WMDs from Saddam regime or regime change but as an example for the rest of the Middle East and in particular the Palestinians. I quote the relevant paragraphs:

    "Those Americans at Ditchley who are close to the Bush administration insisted that the next step in the war against terrorism must be an attack on Iraq. They argue that the United States must unseat Saddam Hussein because only then will the other states of the Middle East (and troublesome states elsewhere) understand that Washington means to destroy its enemies wherever they are, and will do so whether the Europeans, or the "International Community," like it or not.

  Victory over Saddam, Bush's supporters say, will unlock everything. Other Arabs will see that nothing can be gained from supporting terrorism. They will turn against Al Qaeda, and will tell the Palestinians to put away the bombs, arrest the bombers and take whatever settlement Israel offers.

  Further on, the report says "Allies who can't believe their story, and oppose an attack on Iraq, were twice reminded by Americans at the conference that the United States does not need allies. It was suggested that if NATO fails to support the United States on Iraq, it might find itself out of business." (My emphasis.)

Mr M A Qavi

June 2003

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