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U.S. Working With Allies for Another U.N. Resolution on Iraq

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 18, 2003 – The United States is working with its allies to get another resolution from the U.N. Security Council on Iraq, President Bush said today.

Bush said getting a tougher resolution would be "helpful" in confronting Iraq, but is not necessary.

The Security Council is meeting today and tomorrow. The president stated he wants the United Nations to be effective. Not confronting the terrorist regime in Iraq would threaten to make the world body irrelevant, he said.

"There's nothing less useful than issuing a resolution and then not upholding the resolution," the president said during a press opportunity at the swearing in of the new Securities and Exchange Commission chief. "I want to remind the people that this man (Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein) has been in defiance of resolution after resolution after resolution after resolution for 12 long years. ... Unless the United Nations shows some backbone and courage ...it could render the Security Council irrelevant."

The world faces terrorism, rogue states with weapons of mass destruction and a nexus between the two. "Those are the threats of the 21st century," the president said. "The best way to deal with those threats is to have ... international organizations which are effective. And if the United Nations can't enforce its own resolutions, a resolution of which, by the way, has been around for 12 years, it says something about its utility as we head into the future."

Bush wants the United Nations to be effective. "We'll see whether or not it's got the capacity to be effective," he said.

He commented on NATO agreeing to provide support to Turkey in the event of a war with Iraq. He said the United States would remain a steadfast ally of the Turks. Turkey had asked NATO for Airborne Warning and Control System aircraft, chemical and biological warfare detection teams and Patriot anti-missile systems.

Bush also thanked 13 European Union candidates for supporting a declaration warning Saddam Hussein he has one last chance to disarm. The measure was endorsed by representatives of the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Malta.

The president demurred when asked if the United States would set a deadline for Hussein to comply. "You mean, a 'nother, 'nother, 'nother last chance?" Bush said. "He knows my feelings, and that is he needs to disarm completely, totally disarm." He said Hussein likes to buy time using deception and delay.

"He believes time is on his side," the president said.

Bush said he would not be affected by the widespread peace demonstrations, and he supports British Prime Minister Tony Blair's courageous stand against Iraq.

"The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon, in this case, the security of the people," he said. "Tony Blair understands that Saddam Hussein is a risk. Tony Blair sees that, you know, a weakened United Nations is not good for world peace. And he is a courageous leader, and I'm proud to call him friend."

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