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US, Britain to Introduce New Resolution on Iraq - 2003-02-24

The United States and Britain are introducing another U.N. resolution on Iraq Monday at approximately 3:30pm EST. The White House says the new resolution will be brief and to the point.

President Bush outlined its contents during a meeting with the nation's governors.

"Today, we are going to submit a resolution to the U.N. Security Council that spells out what the world has witnessed the last months," the president said. "The Iraqi regime is not disarming."

He said Iraq is not complying with Resolution 1441, which was unanimously passed last year. It requires disarmament and warns of "serious consequences."

Mr. Bush says the United Nations now must demonstrate it will enforce its demands. At stake, he said, is nothing less than the relevance of the world body.

"Is it going to be a body that means what is says? We certainly hope it does," Mr. Bush said. "But one way or the other, Saddam Hussein, for the sake of peace and for the security of the American people, will be disarmed."

British officials have said they expect a vote on the new resolution by mid-March, a fast timetable by U.N. standards. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters that is not a bad estimate, adding the president wants the resolution considered "in short order."

"I think it is impossible to specify an exact date," Mr. Fleischer said. "I think it is important to be respectful to the United Nations process, to allow the members of the Security Council who have not yet seen the document to see the resolution and to give diplomacy its chance."

But the American and British resolution may not be the only option to be put before Council members this week. France is indicating it will call for enhanced U.N. weapons inspections. The French have taken a firm stand against the use of force to disarm Iraq, with President Jacques Chirac saying there is currently no justification for war.