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Britain likely to seek resolution to use force against Iraq

Compiled from Times wires
© St. Petersburg Times
published February 7, 2003

UNITED NATIONS -- Britain is likely to introduce a new U.N. resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq after top weapons inspectors return from Baghdad and report to the Security Council on Feb. 14, a British diplomat said Thursday.

A new resolution would have to authorize the use of force, the British diplomat said, speaking on condition of anonymity, but other questions would have to be negotiated such as whether to include an ultimatum or deadline for Saddam Hussein to eliminate his prohibited weapons programs.

President Bush has said he would welcome a second U.N. resolution on disarming Iraq, following up on one approved unanimously in November, but only if it led to prompt action to stop Hussein.

Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, France's ambassador at the United Nations, said late Thursday that "the time has not come" for a second resolution.

Traffic accident kills U.S. soldier in Kuwait, injures 4

KUWAIT CITY, Kuwait -- A U.S. soldier was killed and four others were injured in a vehicle accident near an American military base Thursday in Kuwait. The identities of the soldiers were withheld until relatives were informed.

The accident occurred near Camp Arifjan, in central Kuwait. "The four other soldiers were medically evacuated and treated for injuries," said a military statement.

French start sending mixed signals on Iraq

PARIS -- President Jacques Chirac said Thursday the U.S. case against Iraq wasn't enough to change France's antiwar stance. But there were other indications of a shift toward Washington.

In a subtle change in diplomatic tone, French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin told Europe-1 radio that Iraq must cooperate immediately with U.N. weapons inspectors -- suggesting that his nation, too, was running out of patience.

Later in the day, however, Chirac issued a statement saying the evidence presented by Secretary of State Colin Powell wasn't enough for France to abandon the pursuit of a diplomatic solution.

"We refuse to think that war is inevitable," Chirac said.

Germans cooperate on chemical weapons threat

CAMP DOHA, Kuwait -- U.S. and German troops are cooperating closely in a special mission to deal with the threat of chemical, biological and nuclear attacks in Kuwait -- even as President Bush and the German chancellor disagree over whether to invade Iraq.

Fifty-nine German soldiers are in Kuwait as part of a U.S.-led task force that was set up after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to help countries respond to terrorism.

The Germans, specialists in decontamination and reconnaissance, have brought six sophisticated vehicles for use in detecting chemical and radiological agents.

They are a key part of the Combined Joint Task Force for Consequence Management, along with 160 Americans and 250 Czechs, because of their expertise in detecting lethal agents, especially industrial chemicals that can be used in attacks.

If there is a chemical or biological attack, the German troops would mark off affected areas and collect samples to assess damage and identify lethal agents.

The mission was conceived as a response to global terrorism. But if the United States invades Iraq from Kuwait, and Saddam Hussein retaliates by using chemical or biological weapons, the Germans could find themselves involved.

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