Schroeder to Attend UN Session in Case of Vote on Iraq Resolution

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder reaffirmed Monday that he is ready to go to the United Nations Security Council in case of vote on the new resolution on Iraq drafted by the United States.

"This depends on a sufficient number of colleagues who will make this trip," Schroeder told French television LCI, referring to a French initiative calling for heads of state and government to vote on any draft UN resolution on Iraq.

On Sunday, Schroeder told French President Jacques Chirac in a telephone conversation that he backed the French initiative put forward by French Foreign Minister Dominque de Villepin at the UN Security Council on Friday.

"No one knows whether there will be a vote at the security council now," Schroeder added.

He also said it is a "sovereign decision" of France to decide whether or not to veto the US-drafted resolution that would trigger war on Iraq.

"Germany will not give its accord to such a resolution that will authorize the war," he added.

The 15 members of the Council are expected to vote this week onthe draft resolution co-sponsored by Spain, which gives Iraq untilMarch 17 to comply with UN demands to disarm or face military action.

Germany, which has firmly opposed any military offensive against Baghdad, joined the UN security council as a non-veto holding member in January.

Of the five permanent members, France, Russia and China are opposed to war.

The US resolution needs at least nine votes to pass, and none of the permanent members must use their veto against it.



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