House of Representative leaders back White House policy on Iraq; Bush: Use of force '\'may become unavoidable'\'
U.S. President George W. Bush said Wednesday the use of force against Iraq "may become unavoidable" if Saddam Hussein refuses to disarm. He issued this threat after House of Representative leaders agreed to give him authority to topple Saddam.
"We will not leave the future of peace and the security of America in the hands of this cruel and dangerous man," Bush said.
Bush and House leaders agreed Wednesday on a resolution for dealing with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein "diplomatically if we can, militarily if we must."
House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt declared the agreement as he emerged from an hour-long White House breakfast with Bush and headed back to Capitol Hill to brief Democrats on the wording of the resolution expected to be debated later this week.
The resolution authorizes Bush to "use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines necessary and appropriate in order to 1) defend the national security interests of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq and 2) to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq," according to a White House official.
The resolution also requires Bush to certify to Congress that diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will not work and requires him to report to Congress every 60 days on developments vis-a-vis Iraq.
Meanwhile, Russia said Wednesday it would consider a new resolution to govern the work of weapons inspectors if they return to Iraq.
Russia's Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov told reporters the Kremlin was willing — if need be — to look at new resolutions on the conduct of inspections. "If additional decisions are necessary for the efficient work of the inspectors, we, of course, are ready to consider them."
It is "too soon" to talk about Russia agreeing to a new UN resolution on Iraq -- which the United States and Britain are pushing for -- but "if that should prove necessary, we would be prepared to do so," Ivanov said.
In Turkey, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tareq Aziz said Wednesday a tough new U.N. resolution proposed by the United States to cover the operations of arms inspectors in Iraq was unacceptable.
"This proposal of the United States is unacceptable, not only by Iraq, it's unacceptable by the Security Council because there is no need for a new resolution," he told a news conference in Ankara.
"The standing resolutions of the Security Council concerning the inspections are valid and they are enough for the perfect performance of the inspectors." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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