Date: 2003-04-27 01:30:50
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A good question is what to do with U.N. members who do this?
France briefed Iraq on war: report
April 27, 2003
FRANCE gave Saddam Hussein's regime regular reports on its dealings with US officials, The Sunday Times reported, quoting files it had found in the wreckage of the Iraqi foreign ministry.
The conservative British weekly said the information kept Saddam abreast of every development in US planning and may have helped him to prepare for war.
One report warned of a US "attempt to involve Iraq with terrorism" as "cover for an attack on Iraq", according to The Sunday Times.
Another, dated September 25, 2001, from Naji Sabri, the Iraqi foreign minister, to Saddam's palace, was based on a briefing from the French ambassador in Baghdad and covered talks between presidents Jacques Chirac and US President George W Bush.
Chirac was said to have been told that the US was "100 per cent certain Osama bin Laden was behind the September 11 attacks and that the answer of the United States would be decisive".
The report also gave a detailed account of American attitudes towards Saddam amid anxiety in Iraq that the country might soon become a target of US reprisals.
"Information available to the French embassy in Washington suggests that there is no intention on the part of the Americans to attack Iraq, but that matters might change quickly," said one document from folders marked "France 2001" found by The Sunday Times.
Bernard Jenkin, defence spokesman for Britain's opposition Conservative Party, told the paper that the briefings went beyond diplomatic courtesies and pointed to French "duplicitousness".
France came in for sustained attack from Britain's tabloid press in the run-up to and during the Iraq war for opposing early military action against Saddam's regime, with the Sun newspaper notably labelling Chirac a "worm".