U.S. President Bush said on Monday he believed Iraq could be disarmed peacefully and he was willing to give diplomacy one more try.
As the president spoke, the United States gave the other four key Security Council members a new draft of its resolution but no decisions were made.
"We've tried diplomacy. We're trying it one more time. I believe the free world, if we make up our mind to, can disarm this man peacefully, but if not we have the will and the desire as do other nations to disarm Saddam," Bush told reporters. "The stated policy of our government, the previous administration and this administration, is regime change, because we don't believe he is going to change," Bush said after talks with NATO Secretary General George Robertson.
"However, if he were to meet all the conditions of the United Nations, the conditions that I've described very clearly in terms that everybody can understand, that in itself will signal the regime has changed."
Meanwhile, the U.S. army is shipping a task force of 20 AH-64 Apache helicopter gun-ships from Europe to Kuwait in the latest move of a low key United States military buildup in the Gulf, a US defense official said Monday.
The movement, which began last week, includes some 450 US troops with the 11th Aviation Regiment based in Illesheim, Germany as well as half a dozen UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, the official said, cited by AFP. During the 1991 Gulf War, they were used to knock out Iraqi early warning radars at the beginning of the air campaign.
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