Monday, March 10
IOL: UK and US delay Saddam deadline vote Ireland On-Line, 10 March, 2003
The US and Britain were today forced to delay the United Nations Security Council vote in a bid to build up support, with France and Russia poised to block a resolution setting a March 17 deadline for Iraq to disarm or face war.
America had hoped to present the resolution to the council tomorrow, but despite an urgent phone campaign waged by US President George Bush, it was evident the US and its allies had not yet picked up the nine votes they needed for a majority.[...]
But on the surface, at least, today was not a good day for the coalition’s efforts.
Pakistan’s prime minister said for the first time publicly that his country, a key swing vote on the council, would not support war with Iraq. And Chile, another vote which Washington seeks, suggested it was not prepared to approve the resolution without changes.[...]
The United States is assured the support of Britain, Spain and Bulgaria, with Cameroon and Mexico leaning heavily toward the US position.
But with Germany, Syria and now Pakistan preparing abstentions or “no” votes, Washington is left trying to canvass the support of Chile, Angola and Guinea.
Meanwhile, Tony Blair struggled to head off a growing revolt within his own party unhappy with his Iraq policy. [...]