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Britain Tells Countrymen to Leave Iraq, Kuwait - 2003-02-19


Britain has told its citizens to leave Iraq immediately -- citing increased tension in the region and the risk of terrorism.

In a statement Wednesday, the British Foreign Office reminded citizens that British nationals were used as hostages by Iraq during the Gulf War.

Meanwhile, the British embassy in Kuwait City is reported to have told Britains to leave Kuwait, which borders Iraq.

Earlier Wednesday, Secretary of State Colin Powell criticized countries that want more time for U-N arms inspections in Iraq, saying they are afraid of taking responsibility for a possible war to disarm Saddam Hussein's government.

Mr. Powell's remarks, during an interview with French public radio on Wednesday , were aimed at French proposals for intensified U-N inspections.

Mr. Powell said Washington does not think more inspectors, or a longer inspection process is the issue. He said Iraq must disarm and that time for it to comply is running out. Mr. Powell said that is why Washington is working with friends and allies to draft another resolution on Iraq that would authorize the use of force.

He noted, however, that even without a second resolution, Washington already has the authority to carry out military action under Security Council resolution 14-41, which warns of serious consequences if Iraq fails to disarm.

On Tuesday, President Bush said he will not be deterred by worldwide anti-war protests or by opposition among some U-S allies to the use of force to disarm Iraq.

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