US Formally Asks Australia to Join War

US President George W. Bush Tuesday morning formally asked Australia to be part of the possible war against Iraq, Prime Minister John Howard revealed.

"I indicated that cabinet would meet again this morning, and cabinet is meeting again this morning at 8:30 a.m. to formally consider that request," Howard told radio of the Australian Broadcast Corporate.

The cabinet had an urgent meeting Monday night and was briefed by military leaders of the country.

He reiterated that taking part in the war is legal. "There is legal authority. That's the view of the lawyers who are advising us," he said.

About 2,000 Australian troops, including 150 of special forces, have been in the Persian Gulf since February.



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