‘I have no intention of opposing the resolution – I am not in that mind-set at all,’ Chirac told the daily New York Times. French Foreign Affairs Minister Dominique de Villepin said in mid September that he would like to see an Iraqi government by the end of 2003. Chirac reaffirmed France’s position saying that sovereignty should be transferred as soon as possible. He added that France would vote for a resolution that included a timetable for Iraqi sovereignty and a ‘key role’ for the UN.

Chirac is expected to meet US President Bush on 24 September at a UN meeting in New York, where Bush will be addressing the General Assembly. Bush is likely to say that going to war with Iraq was the ‘right decision’, according to an advanced transcript released to US Fox News.