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US National Security Advisor  Rules Out Major Changes to UN Iraq Resolution - 2002-10-23

White House officials say work on a U.N. resolution on Iraq appears to be nearing an end. They indicate they will accept some minor changes in the draft resolution circulated by the United States, but the core must remain the same.

White House national security advisor Condoleezza Rice says the diplomatic process takes time, but there are limits.

"It takes time. But we don't have endless time," she said.

Ms. Rice spoke to reporters at the White House as the full 15 member U.N. Security Council met for the first time for informal discussions on a draft resolution on Iraq.

Russia and France have raised strong objections to the draft resolution, which outlines a tough weapons inspection regime and warns of "consequences" if Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein fails to disarm.

She said there may be some tinkering with the language, but stresses the core elements of the resolution are not negotiable.

"The United States is very committed to having a resolution that will this time really deal with the problem of Saddam Hussein," she said.

President Bush called for strong U.N. action on Iraq during a September 12th speech to the General Assembly. He said if the world body does not act to disarm Saddam Hussein, the United States will.