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Key Developments Concerning Iraq

February 24, 2003

Developments in the Iraq crisis:

_ Iraq’s foreign minister accused the United States of trying to strong arm the U.N. Security Council into approving a war. ``The U.S. administration is putting pressure on everybody, it’s a carrot and stick policy _ bribery here, pressure there,″ Naji Sabri said at a summit of non-aligned nations in Malaysia.

_ Malaysia’s prime minister sharply criticized Washington for threatening war against Iraq, and told the same summit that the U.S.-led fight against terror has become a campaign to dominate the world.

_ British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon said a second U.N. Security Council resolution on Iraq is politically important but not legally essential before possible military action. Britain and the United States are preparing to offer a draft resolution this week, but face crucial opposition from France and other Security Council members.

_ Secretary of State Colin Powell was in China on the second stop of an Asia trip to discuss both the Iraq standoff and the crisis over North Korea’s suspected nuclear weapons program. Powell was making the case that China should not veto the U.S.-British resolution.

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