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Friday, January 24, 2003

At the World Economic Forum Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad called for a ''compromise'' solution to the crisis over Iraq, arguing that war would only lead to more revenge + retaliation. Several panellists warned of growing anti-US sentiment around the world, and urged Washington not to use force against Iraq without the support of the United Nations.

''People do not tie bombs to their bodies or crash planes into buildings for the fun of it. Out-terrorising the terrorists will not work. We need a paradigm shift, we need a new mindset,'' Prime Minister Mahathir said at the session on Trust and Governance for a New Era.

Echoing Dr Mahathir's call for a peaceful resolution, Pascal Couchepin, President of the Swiss Confederation and Federal Councillor of Home Affairs, said in his welcome address that Switzerland believes that all peaceful means must be followed. "Force must not be used before the matter is brought before the UN Security Council. The use of force can only be the last resort after all other means of persuasion are exhausted.''