Report: Blair urges Bush to '\'re-engage'\' with U.N. before attacking Iraq
Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, has warned U.S. President Bush that he must "re-engage" with the United Nations to secure international support before launching military action against Iraq.
According to The Daily Telegraph, Blair held lengthy crisis talks with the American leader on Thursday by telephone from Downing Street, after a week of alleged splits between Washington and London over Bush's strategy on Iraq.
Blair sought to persuade Bush to press for the re-admission of UN arms inspectors to Iraq. According to the report, Blair remains privately sceptical that Saddam will ever fully comply with the UN's demand for full access to weapons development sites. However, he believes that a final diplomatic push is vital if there is to be any chance of building an international coalition in favour of war.
A senior British minister has told The Telegraph, that Blair had urged Bush not to rule out such a move. "Tony told him to re-engage with the UN," he said. The talks were said to be friendly and lasted for almost an hour.
Meanwhile, it was announced that Geoff Hoon, the British Defence Secretary, would meet his U.S. counterpart, Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon on September 11. It is expected they will discuss a possible British contribution to US war plans. (Albawaba.com)
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