US ambassador John Negroponte told reporters that the US could countenance a ‘modest extension’ to the 17 March deadline originally envisaged, if other countries are in favour. However, Washington remains insistent that a second resolution must be voted on in the next couple of days. Under the UK proposal, the six tests would not be formally incorporated into the second resolution but would be accepted by all as the benchmark by which Saddam Hussein’s compliance would be measured. London’s latest attempt to achieve a second resolution acceptable to all on the Security Council failed to win French or Russian support. After the discussions in New York, French ambassador Jean-Marc de la Sabliere said: ‘There is still on the table a draft resolution which authorises the use of force; that is what is at stake.’ Paris opposes any resolution allowing military action against Iraq. Russia’s response was little more encouraging. ‘It’s still about war and peace and we are not convinced that this takes care of our concerns,’ said Moscow’s ambassador Sergei Lavrov. UK ambassador Jeremy Greenstock reported a positive response from the six ‘swing’ voters – Chile, Mexico, Cameroon, Angola, Guinea and Pakistan.