President Bush Wednesday is to sign the resolution passed by Congress last week, authorizing the use of force, if necessary, to disarm Iraq. A White House spokesman said Mr. Bush has invited dozens of lawmakers to the formal signing ceremony.
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council begins an open meeting to discuss calls for a new U.N. resolution on Iraq. South Africa, the current chairman of the 130-member Non-Aligned Movement, requested the meeting to give the rest of the U.N. members a chance to air their views on Iraq.
Many governments have expressed resentment that only the five permanent Security Council members, which have veto power, are making what they consider to be a critical decision that effects everyone. The United States and Britain want a tough resolution that would allow the use of military force, if necessary, to ensure that all of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction and the means to produce them are completely eliminated.
But France, Russia and China as well as many other governments want to give U.N. weapons inspectors a chance to disarm Iraq before authorizing the use of force. Chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix said Tuesday his team will not return to Iraq before the Security Council votes on a new resolution.