President Bush said Friday that Iraq's weapons declaration showed Saddam Hussein was not serious about disarmament and marked "a disappointing day for those who long for peace."
"We expected him to show that he would disarm and ... it's a long way from there," the U.S. leader stated.
Bush has given the go-ahead to double the 50,000 U.S. troop deployment in the Persian Gulf region in early January, a senior administration official said, according to AP. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is expected to sign the formal deployment order in the next week or two.
Bush, meeting with United Nations, European Union and Russian diplomats, said he would work with America's friends to enforce the U.N. Security Council resolution demanding that Saddam give up his weapons voluntarily — or else be forced to do so by U.S.-led military force.
Asked whether the United States and Iraq were now on a path toward war, Bush replied: "Yesterday's document was not encouraging." "The world spoke clearly that we expect Mr. Saddam Hussein to disarm," Bush said.
He addressed the Iraqi crisis, which White House spokesman Ari Fleischer described as "deepening," at the opening of talks focused on the Israel-Palestinian conflict. (Albawaba.com)
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