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Pre-emptive strikes "very dangerous doctrine," warns Cook

 London, March 23, IRNA -- Former British cabinet minister Robin Cook, 
who resigned as House of Commons leader in protest against the war in 
Iraq, warned Sunday about the dangers of the US policy of pre-emptive 
military strikes and the example of double standards that has been    
set.                                                                  
   "I think that it is a very dangerous doctrine for us to create     
a precedent for. I think it is very important that we always have some
form of international agreement before we actually go to war," Cook   
said.                                                                 
    He also spoke against the example of hypocrisy that has been set  
by the launch of military action against Iraq, while there were no    
similar efforts being taken against the Zionist regime to achieve     
justice for the Palestinians.                                         
   "The real difficulty is that the Arab world sees a double standard.
They don't see us being in the same way engaged and pressurizing      
Israel to take forward the peace process with the Palestinian people,"
the former foreign secretary said.                                    
    Cook, who was speaking in an interview with BBC television on     
Sunday, insisted that he will continue to speak out on a range of     
policy issues following his resignation as the government's leader of 
the House of Commons last week in protest against the Iraq war.       
   He suggested that it was now "very important" for US President     
George W. Bush to deliver his pledge of a "roadmap" for a Palestinian 
state, which still has to be published.                               
    "Many in the Arab world would say that there is one rule for the  
US's allies and another for the US's enemies," Cook warned.           
    Questioned later on BBC radio, he also said that it was           
"essential" that the UN is put "firmly in the driving seat" to deal   
with the difficulties following the conflict in Iraq.                 
    "I very much hope that since the action has started it will be    
over quickly, be over successfully," the former cabinet minister      
said, but added that he was "not in a position to guarantee it will   
happen."                                                              
    He said that one of thes "gravest anxieties" of the international 
community was that the Security Council was being marginalized by the 
launch of the war without agreement and that it was "very important   
the UN authority is reasserted."                                      
HC/LS                                                                 
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last Update Sunday, 23-Mar-2003 08:40:33 PST
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