Spanish PM Hints at War on Iraq Without UN Approval

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar said a new UN resolution authorizing war on Iraq was "not indispensable," hinting at the possibility of a war on Iraq without UN approval, the BBC television reported on Sunday.

"A further resolution would be politically desirable. But from the legal point of view it is not indispensable," Aznar told the BBC Breakfast with Frost Program.

Aznar, who supports the Anglo-American tough stance on disarming Iraq, said Spain, Britain and the United States had worked "flat out" to reach a consensus in the UN Security Council on a new resolution.

"We have done everything in our power in the last few weeks to reach a solution," Aznar said.

However, he noted: "we cannot do anything about those countries who say they would veto a resolution whatever its contents."

"We have made every possible effort to reach it but we must tell the international community that we cannot tolerate such unfulfilment of international law if we want a safe world," he added.

The United States, Britain and Spain are cosponsoring an amended draft UN resolution that sets a March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm completely or to face a war.

The three allies postponed seeking a UN Security Council debate over the new draft resolution early this week as it met strong opposition from France, Russia and Germany, with France and Russia threatening to use their power of veto to kill it.

Aznar was expected to meet with US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair in Portugal's Azores islands on Sunday for an emergency summit on the Iraq crisis.

The meeting, which White House spokesman Ari Fleischer described as "an effort to pursue every last bit of diplomacy" in the face of fading hopes for approval of a UN resolution, may be regarded as a council of war, local reports said.



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