British Media: Military Operation Against Iraq Unlikely for A Year
United States President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have agreed on a military campaign against Iraq but no action is likely for at least a year, The Times reported Monday, citing sources close to the two leaders.
Blair and Bush sketched out a "three-phase plan" to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, during their weekend meeting at the US President's Texas ranch, the newspaper wrote.
"First recreating a coalition for action by convincing Iraq's neighbors that Saddam can be ousted; then taking military action against him and finally ensuring that a successor regime is capable of running the country."
One US source told The Times, "The president believes Mr. Blair will back him when the time comes. The difference here is that Mr. Bush has come to office determined to finish the job that his father started - certainly before the next presidential election in 2004.”
"Mr. Blair has to tread much more carefully because of opposition in Europe and in the Labor Party," the source added.
Meanwhile, veteran British Parliament Member Tam Dalyell, a member of Blair's ruling Labor Party and Father of the House of Common, told The Times that Parliament members would demand a vote on any future military action against Iraq.
"There will be a move for a common vote... One question Mr. Blair will most certainly be asked on that occasion is why none of Iraq's neighbors want bombing, let alone all-out war". (Albawaba.com)
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