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australia backing 2nd un resolution

  1. gaweb

    2,154 posts.
    Finally, common sense prevailing within our shores.

    Well done 'Howy'

    CANBERRA, Feb 3 (Reuters) - Australia gave firm backing on
    Monday to calls for a second U.N. resolution to bring together
    divided world opinion on Iraq as Prime Minister John Howard
    announced plans to visit U.S., British and U.N. leaders.
    A staunch U.S. ally who has already sent troops to the Middle
    East, Howard said he hoped talks next week with U.S. President
    George W. Bush, U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and British
    Prime Minister Tony Blair would help find a peaceful solution.
    But in any case, he said, the United Nations needed to make a
    second resolution over how to handle Iraq after U.N. weapons
    inspectors indicated that President Saddam Hussein was not
    cooperating with a November resolution demanding that he disarm.
    Blair has also come out in favour of a new resolution.
    "Overwhelmingly it is, in my view, desirable to have a second
    resolution...to bring forth the maximum support and involvement
    in military action if that, regrettably, becomes necessary,"
    Howard told a news conference.
    Howard has already sent troops to join U.S. and British
    forces in the Gulf preparing for a war on Iraq, despite public
    opposition at home to any strike on Iraq without U.N. approval.
    However Canberra has yet to commit itself to any strike on
    Iraq, whether U.S.-led or U.N.-sanctioned, and this has opened up
    a sharp political divide at home.
    Howard said he had not yet lost hope that the crisis could be
    resolved peacefully and he would stress this in his talks in
    Washington with Bush on February 10, with Annan in New York and
    with Blair in London later in the week.
    "I hope it is a peace mission. I hope it can make a
    contribution," Howard said. "I don't believe final decisions have
    yet been taken."
    Howard said his visit to the United States -- his third in a
    year -- followed an invitation from Bush.
    "This is an opportunity at the very highest level for me to
    convey the view of the government to the president, the British
    prime minister, to the United Nations and others...regarding this
    very difficult issue and one the world must deal with," he said.
    On the way home, Howard said he would stop in Indonesia to
    meet President Megawati Sukarnoputri for talks about Iraq but
    also to thank her personally for the effective way the Indonesian
    authorities handled the investigations in the Bali bombings.
    More than 180 people, including 88 Australians, were killed
    last October 12 when bombs tore through nightclubs packed with
    foreign tourists on the Indonesian resort island, a popular
    destination for Australian holidaymakers.
    Howard said he intended to present a detailed statement on
    his views on Iraq to the national parliament when it resumes on
    Tuesday after the summer break.

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