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Iraq: Blair Wins Parliament Backing For War


London, 19 March 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Britain's parliament has voted in favor of sending British troops into war against Iraq. The Tuesday night vote in the House of Commons was 412 in favor to 149 against. The motion supports the use of "all means necessary" to ensure Iraq's disarmament of weapons of mass destruction.

In a separate vote, the parliament rejected a motion declaring that the case for a war now against Iraq has not yet been made.

This measure had been put forward by rebel members of Prime Minister Tony Blair's governing Labour Party who oppose military action.

Three of Blair's ministers -- former Foreign Secretary Robin Cook and two deputies -- have resigned in protest of Blair's push for military action without United Nations backing.

Some 45,000 British troops have been deployed to the Persian Gulf to join United States forces in any attack on Iraq.

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