Tags: U.S. | Braces | for | Security | Council | Vote | Iraq

U.S. Braces for Security Council Vote on Iraq

Wednesday, 06 November 2002 12:00 AM

Both nations, permanent veto wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, are likely to abstain along with China, another permanent member.

Among the so-called P5 (permanent 5 Security Council members), only Britain is expected to support the U.S. resolution.

U.S./U.N. ambassador John Negroponte's office leaked details of the latest U.S. proposal late Tuesday in advance of a private P5 meeting on Wednesday.

"This is not the way we would have done it," admitted one P5 diplomat.

The diplomat referred to the U.S. tactic of selectively leaking sensitive material to publicly pressure Paris and Moscow to support Washington's campaign against Iraq.

Just days earlier, the U.S./U.N. mission felt the draft proposal could draw as many as 14 yes votes with only Syria voting no.

Under Council rules, any resolution needs at least 9 yes votes and no vetoes.

Washington may have a difficult time drawing the minimum 9 votes by the time a formal vote is called. That is expected to be Friday.

Diplomats on the Council say that if Paris and Moscow finally decide to sit on the sidelines, Mexico and even Ireland may follow suit.

If that scenario holds, Washington might see its resolution pass with only minimal Council support.

U.S./U.N. mission spokesman Richard Grinell refused to comment on the latest turn of events, only stating that Washington "was not disappointed."

Other diplomats admit that such a vote by the Council "will not show the strong support the U.S. wanted."

Diplomatic sources say the latest "final" draft by the U.S. did not go "far enough" to address concerns by Paris and Moscow. There had been an overriding belief that the U.S. would use the resolution as an "automatic trigger" to launch a military campaign against Baghdad if U.N. arms inspections are obstructed.

The French and Russians had insisted on a second resolution to approve any military action against Iraq.

While Washington was willing to "consult" with Security Council members before any military action was initiated, the White House made it clear it would not seek a second resolution to authorize any military force.

In the end, it appeared the U.S. refusal to compromise on that issue reduced the chances to gain French and Russian approval.

The U.S. is expected to formally introduce its resolution to the entire Security Council after the P5 meeting on Wednesday morning.

A vote is expected Friday, but most diplomats believe that any additional compromises by the U.S., while possible, are unlikely.

"It is not over until the Council finally votes," cautioned a British diplomat. "There are remaining obstacles, but I do not think they are deal breakers," he added.

The British diplomat explained that both the United States and France are "maneuvering" to gain some last minute concessions as the final vote in the Security Council approaches.

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Both nations, permanent veto wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, are likely to abstain along with China, another permanent member. Among the so-called P5 (permanent 5 Security Council members), only Britain is expected to support the U.S. resolution. U.S./U.N....
U.S.,Braces,for,Security,Council,Vote,Iraq
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2002-00-06
Wednesday, 06 November 2002 12:00 AM
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