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Bush 'Optimistic' About UN Iraq Resolution


President Bush says he is "optimistic" that the United Nations will pass a resolution Friday forcing Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to give up suspected weapons of mass destruction. The Bush Administration's resolution has been revised several times to reflect the concerns of U.S. allies.

Continuing to lobby for the resolution against Iraq, President Bush Thursday telephoned Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Jacques Chirac. Following those calls, Mr. Bush told reporters that he is "optimistic" the Security Council will act against Iraq.

"The resolution we put down is a tough new resolution," Mr. Bush said. "It talks about material breach and inspections and serious consequences if Saddam Hussein continues to defy the world and not disarm."

President Bush says the Iraqi leader is a threat because he could help terrorists use chemical or biological weapons to attack the United States or U.S. allies.

Mr. Bush says U.N. credibility is on the line as member states decide whether Iraq can ignore a decade of resolutions without consequence.

The president says he hopes the United Nations will disarm Iraq. But if the international community does not take action, Mr. Bush says he will lead his own coalition against Saddam Hussein.

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