Methodist Church statement on Iraq

The following statement has been made by the MethodistChurch on the political situation concerning Iraq:

1. We endorse the view that the prospect of military actionalways provokes and requires ethical reflection alongside politicaljudgement. The more public debate there is on such ethical issuesthe better.

2. The determining international resolution relating to Iraq atthe present time is UN Resolution 687 which requires unfetteredinspection of facilities with the potential for producing weaponsof mass destruction. The primary political concern of the BritishGovernment should be the unconditional compliance with thisresolution.

3. Military action should always be used as a last resort. Priorto military action, every possible opportunity should be taken(however unpromising the prospect) for negotiation, dialogue andpersuasion. In particular the Iraqi offer to talk about there-admittance of the weapons inspectors should be taken up.

4. Any steps involving military action against Iraq which may bedeemed necessary as a last resort must be explicitly authorised byresolution of the UN Security Council.

The Rev David Deeks, Co-ordinating Secretary for Church andSociety
Ms Jennifer Potter, Secretary for International Affairs