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IRAQ - Feb. 24 - New US Resolution Urges UN To Act.

The US, UK and Spain put forward a draft 1-page resolution challenging the UN Security Council to take action against Baghdad. The resolution concludes that "Iraq has failed to take the final opportunity" to disarm peacefully offered by UN resolution 1441. It recounts the demands made of Baghdad under 1441 and points to several areas where Baghdad has "failed to comply". It also notes that 1441 said Iraq's continued material breach would result in "serious consequences" - in other words military action. The US, UK and Spain need to win nine votes on the UN Security Council - and avoid a veto by permanent members France, Russia and China - to ensure the resolution passes. US National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice called it "an efficient resolution" that invoked "everything that everybody agreed to in 1441". She said the US would make "an all-out effort" over the next few weeks to secure international support for the resolution, pressing the UN to vote soon after chief UN weapons inspector Hans Blix updates the Security Council on March 7. Presenting the resolution, UK ambassador to the UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock said Baghdad still had time "to make the right choice". After meeting EU foreign ministers in Brussels, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said Baghdad was "approaching the end of the final opportunity" to disarm. But the resolution was quickly countered by an alternative plan from France, Russia and Germany, which offered the Security Council a "memorandum" calling for a toughening of the UN inspection regime, coupled with an accelerated timetable for compliance. In Berlin late at night, French Pres. Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder repeated their firm opposition to any second UN resolution. Schroder said: "We have had time to look at the draft and see no reason at all to shift from our common position. We believe it is possible to disarm Iraq peacefully". Over the next two weeks the two sides will engage in a diplomatic struggle that will determine the scale of international backing for an assault on Iraq which the US is expected to be preparing for mid- to late-March. The US has shown no sign of retreating from its threat to act without UN backing. US Pres. Bush said: "One way or another, Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace, and for the security of the American people, will be disarmed".
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Publication:APS Diplomat Recorder
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:00WOR
Date:Mar 1, 2003
Words:392
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