US and UK give UN 24 hours to reach agreement

17 March 2003
The UK, the US and Spain concluded their emergency summit in the Azores on 16 March by giving the UN Security Council 24 hours to find agreement on a second Iraq resolution, and Saddam Hussein his last chance to disarm immediately, leave Iraq or face war. US President Bush called 17 March 'a moment of truth for the world'. The leaders signalled their frustration with the tortuous discussions at the UN and especially with France. President Bush said that his demand that Security Council members 'show their cards' had been met by France saying that they would veto any second resolution. He said that it was time for UN members to demonstrate whether or not they were committed to 'peace and security,' and hinted at a desire to reshape the UN in the light of the current crisis: 'The US will work to make the UN a representative body that follows through on its resolutions,' Bush said.

UK Prime Minister Blair also signalled that the time for discussion was over, bringing to a close his strenuous efforts to gain a second resolution explicitly authorising military action. Without an ultimatum on disarmament, he said, further discussion would simply allow Saddam Hussein to continue as before. Blair also spoke about a post-war Iraq, pledging to preserve its territorial integrity and promote representative government. The UN Security Council meets at 3pm GMT on 17 March.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.

Get Notifications