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Iraq: Powell Says All Options Open

United Nations, 14 March 2003 (RFE/RL) -- Negotiations at the United Nations are set to continue today as the U.S. and Britain are attempting to win backing for a new Security Council draft resolution authorizing war against Iraq. Amid continued French and Russian opposition to any new resolution which would authorize war, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has raised the possibility of abandoning calls for a Security Council vote on such a move.

"Our options remain: go for a vote and see what [the Security Council] members say or not go for a vote. But all of the options that you can imagine are before us and we will be examining them today, tomorrow, and over the weekend."

British Ambassador Jeremy Greenstock has said there is interest among the council members in a British proposal aimed at winning support for the draft resolution. The proposal outlines six "tests" for Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to pass in order to avoid a war.

But German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder today said that that Germany, France, Russia, China, and the majority of the UN Security Council still believed that Iraq could be disarmed peacefully.

French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has also said his country saw continued UN arms inspections as the best way to preserve world unity in the Iraq crisis.

Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Yuri Fedotov today rejected the six-point British proposal on Iraq as "not constructive."