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UN Security Council to Hold Wednesday Meeting on Iraq - 2003-03-19


At least seven foreign ministers from the 15 member states of the U.N. Security Council are scheduled to attend a Council meeting on Iraq Wednesday. The meeting is expected to have little more than symbolic significance on the eve of the expected U.S.-led war against Iraq.

The foreign ministers are expected to have a lot to say about Iraq but little to do of a practical nature.

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell will not join his fellow ministers at the Council meeting, saying he sees no particular reason for him to go.

The United States and its allies have already declared diplomacy in Iraq at a dead end. President Bush has given Saddam Hussein a final ultimatum to step down or face invasion.

Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammad Aldouri, echoed his government's rejection of the deadline. "We reject totally this madness, the aggression, and the outlaw policy," he said.

Chief weapons inspector Hans Blix called the oncoming approach of war "a rather sad moment," but added that all U.N. international staff have been safely evacuated from Iraq.