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Bush Repeats US Commitment to Disarm Iraq - 2002-10-28


The Bush Administration says the United Nations has debated long enough on a resolution forcing Iraq to give up weapons of mass destruction. The president has been campaigning in the western U.S. state of Colorado for Republican candidates in next week's elections.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says it is time for U.N. Security Council members to "raise their hands and cast their vote" for a resolution threatening "serious consequences" if Iraq does not disarm.

Mr. Fleischer says the Bush Administration is pushing its resolution on three fronts, at the diplomatic level in New York, at the ministerial level led by Secretary of State Colin Powell, and by the president as he sees fit.

Campaigning for Republican candidates in the southwest states of New Mexico and Colorado Monday, President Bush again said if the United Nations does not disarm Iraq, the United States will.

"Either the United Nations will do its duty to disarm Saddam Hussein or Saddam Hussein will disarm himself. In either case, if they refuse to act, in the name of peace, in the name of a secure tomorrow, in the name of freedom the United States will lead a coalition and disarm Saddam Hussein," he said.

President Bush says Saddam Hussein is a threat because he could help terrorists use chemical or biological weapons to attack the United States. Iraq says it has no weapons of mass destruction and has agreed to the return of U.N. weapons inspectors under existing U.N. rules.

Iraq's Foreign Minister Naji Sabri says the U.S. draft resolution is an attempt to colonize Iraq, and would undermine the basic principles of the United Nations charter.

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