U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan says Security Council resolution 14-41 sends a strong signal to Iraq that the United Nations is united on the issue of Iraqi disarmament. He said it is a "new ball game" and Iraq must comply.
U-N ambassador Fayssal Mekdad who represents Security Council member Syria said the Arab world does not want war, but wants to resolve all regional issues through U-N resolutions. He noted this is not limited to Iraq, but includes implementing resolutions concerning the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well.
An Arab League spokesman (Hisham Youssef) in Cairo echoed the desire to avoid war, adding that the Arab League "respects" Security Council resolutions. Arab League foreign ministers will meet Saturday in Cairo and will discuss the new resolution.
Russia and France had opposed earlier drafts, but Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov said Russia backed the resolution today (Friday) because it omits wording about the automatic and unilateral use of force. In Paris, French President Jacques Chirac said the unanimous vote offers a chance for Iraq to disarm peacefully.
Meanwhile in Germany, Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said the resolution sends a clear signal to Baghdad that there will be serious consequences if Saddam Hussein does not comply with the U-N resolution.
Chief U-N weapons inspector Hans Blix said he is very pleased that the resolution was adopted by unanimity because he said it strengthens the inspectors' mandate.
European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana and government officials in Israel, Canada and Bulgaria also have voiced positive reactions.