French President Jacques Chirac says France and Germany agree that war against Iraq should be a last resort and the decision to go to war is for the Security Council alone. The French and German leaders are celebrating the 40th anniversary of a French-German friendship treaty.

President Chirac did not directly answer a question about whether France and Germany would adopt a common position in a U.N. Security Council vote on war against Iraq.

But at a news conference at the French presidential palace, Mr. Chirac said France and Germany have a common perspective on the Iraqi crisis.

Mr. Chirac said he and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder believe that only the Security Council can decide whether to go to war against Iraq. He said both leaders believe war is the worst of all possible solutions to the current crisis.

Mr. Schroeder, said he had nothing to add to Mr. Chirac's statements about Iraq. Both leaders also urged Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.