Isreal

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isreal

CAIRO, Egypt (AP) - Despite official Iraqi silence, Arab ministers indicated Sunday Saddam
Hussein (news - web sites) was ready to accept a U.N. resolution to disarm, with Syria's
foreign minister assuring Arab governments the Security Council document does not
authorize the use of American military force.



AP Photo


AP Photo
Slideshow: Iraq and Saddam Hussein

Objections Emerge To U.S. Resolution
(Reuters)



If Baghdad fails to follow through, however, U.S. officials said a Pentagon (news - web
sites) plan calls for more than 200,000 troops to invade Iraq.



In brief remarks as he entered Sunday's meeting, Iraqi Foreign Minister Naji Sabri said
only that the Arab position is firm in rejecting any use of U.S. military force.



A day earlier Sabri said "no decision has been taken," but several other Arab diplomats at
a late-night Saturday meeting of the Arab League said Iraq had already accepted the
resolution.



Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Maher said early Sunday morning, "I think we can expect a
positive position by the Iraqis." Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal also
indicated Iraq would accept the resolution that dictates return of arms inspectors.



"They (Arab ministers) welcomed Iraq's approval of this resolution with the confirmation
that Syria received that there would be no automatic military action," Saud said.



Syria, whose surprise agreement to the U.N. Security Council resolution allowed for 15-0
passage on Friday, defended its vote. "We have struggled and shouldered a lot of
difficulties to bring about the resolution," Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa told
journalists Sunday.



Al-Sharaa said he received a letter from Secretary of State Colin Powell (news - web
sites) "in which he stressed that there is nothing in the resolution to allow it to be
used as a pretext to launch a war on Iraq and that if the U.S. administration had any
intention of resorting to military action, this resolution wouldn't have taken seven
weeks."



On Sunday, Iraq's state-controlled media carried no news about the resolution, not even
the usual vitriolic editorials blaming the United States for pushing the Security Council
into a tough stance. Saddam himself has said nothing publicly about Friday's unanimously
adopted resolution.

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