In January 2003 I organized a parliamentary delegation to go to Iraq with the knowledge of Prime Minister Chrétien and Foreign Minister Graham. Madame Colleen Beaumier and her able assistant, Natalie Jewett joined me on the trip.
Also in Baghdad at the same time were Gary Bobrovitz from Global News Calgary and Linda Slobodian from the Calgary Herald on visas we arranged. They reported the situation on the ground from Baghdad.
In Baghdad we met with the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Tariq Aziz, the Foreign Minister, Mr. Naji Sabri, the Iraq Trade Minister, Communications and Transportation Minister, Deputy Agriculture Minister and the Deputy Speaker of the Iraq National Assembly accompanied by several members of the Assembly.
The purpose of the trip was to convey to Iraq the Canadian position with regard to disarmament and to receive any message that Iraq wanted put before our government. The Iraqis asked one thing and that was for Canada to maintain its position in support of the UN.
We arrived back in Canada on January 29th, 2003 and worked non-stop to try and reach agreement on an initiative that would prevent the U.S. from invading. This involved a two stage proposal.
Initially there was the six points for piece plan that was developed through the efforts of Scott Ritter and the Deputy Foreign Minister of South Africa, Mr. Pahad and was an extension of the Canadian initiative that was being discussed by the non permanent members of the UN Security Council in February 2003.
After the attack by the US and the UK a modification of that plan which was now being sponsored by the Vatican was tabled. Both of these proposals had been somewhat agreed to by Iraq and involved Disarmament, Human Rights, Democracy, Diplomacy, Economy and of course Peace.
These initiatives are attached to this paper for review. But as the entire world now understands the U.S. and the UK were not interested in a peaceful solution to Iraq.