Gavin Strang MP told a meeting of East Edinburgh and Musselburgh Constituency Labour party in Portobello last night (Thursday) that it would be wrong to launch military action in Iraq before United Nations weapons inspectors had had time to do their work.
Extracts from Gavin Strang’s remarks follow:
‘Nobody doubts the dangers which an Iraqi regime with weapons of mass destruction could pose.
‘But military action must be the last resort – not least because of the damage it would do to the coalition against international terrorism.
‘War would also mean injury and death for innocent civilians as well as military personnel.
‘The United Nations weapons inspectors are in Iraq to eliminate Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Programmes.
‘The weapons inspectors have been in Iraq for two months, following the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1441.
‘The weapons inspectors need more time than that to do their job in Iraq.
‘As UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, said on Monday ‘I’m not saying forever, but they do need time to get their work done’.
‘It would be wrong to launch military action before the weapons inspectors have had the necessary time to do their work in Iraq.’