Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham says if military equipment is being smuggled into Iraq through a Syrian rail network, Canada will re-examine its position of working strictly within the United Nations to put pressure on Saddam Hussein.
In an interview before the G-8 foreign ministers' meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Whistler, B.C., Graham said Iraq is not on the agenda but could very well come up as representatives of the world's leading industrial economies and Russia discuss the Middle East and global terrorism.
"If there's concrete evidence that Iraq is engaged in activities that amount to terrorism, then that's a totally different situation than the one that presently prevails," he said.
"We recognize the danger that weapons of mass destruction in Iraq represent, but we still wish to work within the UN framework to deal with that issue," he said, predicting that would also be the view of the other G-8 nations, except the U.S., which has been threatening war against Baghdad for months.
The Americans say they have evidence that Iraq is reconstituting its weapons of mass destruction program, but have yet to share that with its allies, prompting former UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter to tell a Commons committee last week that there is no evidence.
"I'll be interested to hear what (U.S. Secretary of State Colin) Mr. Powell has to say about that," said Graham.
Concerted G-8 action on global terrorism, the Middle East and Afghanistan will be the primary topics of discussion when the foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the U.S. join Graham for the two-day meeting which is a preparatory session for the leaders' summit two weeks later in Kananaskis.
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