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Wolfowitz to Meet With NATO Officials, British and Turkish Governments

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Nov. 27, 2002 – Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz will depart here Dec. 1 to meet with officials in NATO headquarters, and with leaders in Great Britain and Turkey, a senior U.S. official announced today.

The four-day trip is the first of a series that senior American government officials will be making over the next several weeks to various regions across the globe to enhance support for the disarmament of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, the official noted.

It is hoped, the official emphasized, that the elimination of Hussein's chemical, biological and nuclear weapons of mass destruction programs can be accomplished peacefully.

However, the official added, another purpose of these trips will be to sound out which nations might contribute militarily or in other ways as part of an possible assault on Iraq if Saddam fails to comply with U.N. Resolution 1441.

U.N. inspection teams in Iraq have started searching for weapons of mass destruction. The next deadline to comply with the U.N. resolution is Dec. 8, when Iraq must give full, accurate declarations of any weapons of mass destruction.

Wolfowitz's first stop will be Brussels, Belgium, for consultations with NATO officials, the U.S. official said. He noted Wolfowitz is then slated to fly to London for same-day meetings with British government officials.

Turkey is the next stop, the official noted, where the U.S. deputy defense secretary is expected to discuss the topic of Iraq and other issues with senior Turkish officials.

Wolfowitz is scheduled to return to Washington Dec. 4.

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