There is no shortage of international reaction to the crisis.
Robert Raffaele has more.
Reaction to President Bush’s ultimatum to Saddam Hussein is mixed across the globe. Mr. Bush’s staunchest ally, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, is facing strong opposition from within his own party. Mr. Blair is now dealing with the resignations of three British ministers, including Senior Cabinet Minister Robin Cook. Tuesday, Mr. Blair addressed members of Parliament preparing to vote on the use of force. He said that toppling Saddam Hussein is critical for many reasons.
TONY BLAIR, BRITISH PRIME MINISTER
“It will determine the way Britain and the world confront the central security threat of the 21st Century, the development of the United Nations, the relationship between Europe and the United States, the relations within the European Union and the way the United States engages with the rest of the world.”
In Australia, Prime Minister John Howard said 2000 Australian troops now in the Persian Gulf have been committed to the U.S. led coalition. Australia has also ordered all Iraqi diplomats out of the country within the next five days, a move he says in the interest of national security.
However, the Bush administration’s toughest critics of its Iraq policy remain adamantly opposed to the use of force.
China’s new Prime Minister Wen Jiabao said every effort must still be made to avoid military action, and called for UN weapons inspections to continue. Some of the strongest criticism came from France. In a televised speech to his nation, President Jacques Chirac said President Bush will carry a ‘heavy responsibility’ for the ultimatum.
Mr. Chirac says the deadline ignores international opinion, and the will of the UN Security Council.
In New York Tuesday, Iraq’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Aldouri, called the war illegal and immoral.
MOHAMMED ALDOURI, IRAQ’S AMBASSADOR TO THE UNITED NATIONS
“I think it is a mistake for the United States, for President Bush himself. So we will be sorry about that. There will be killing, destruction, both sides. Your guys, our guys, and without reason, without reasonable reason really. There is no reason for that”
Mr. Aldouri repeated Saddam Hussein’s threat that, in the event of war, no American would be safe anyplace.