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UN: Security Council Nearing Vote On Iraq

United Nations, 7 November 2002 (RFE/RL) -- A new resolution on Iraq's disarmament presented by the United States and Britain is approaching a vote in the UN Security Council. The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Negroponte, said council members have solved many of their differences. He said they will meet again today, and the United States and Britain will ask the council to vote on the proposed resolution tomorrow.

Negroponte said the measure calls for a two-stage role for the council to consider charges of Iraqi noncompliance with arms inspectors.

"What this resolution says is if there are violations of the terms of this resolution and of Iraq's disarmament obligations, this matter is to be brought to the council for discussion and assessment. The resolution does not prejudge what might happen after that stage."

That position represents a major change from an initial U.S. draft that threatened to use "all necessary means" against Baghdad if it did not comply.

France has signaled that its main concerns have been addressed. But Russia is still questioning whether the resolution contains "triggers" for the use of military force.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said today at a news conference in Beijing that China believes the new proposal has eased the concerns of some Security Council member states. But he declined to say if China will support the amended wording.