The White House says Mr. Bush will meet with Tony Blair of Britain and Jose Maria Aznar of Spain in the Azores Islands in an effort to pursue "every last bit of diplomacy." The three countriesb are struggling to win U-N Security Council approval of a draft resolution that would set a deadline for Iraq to disarm or face military action. They face stiff opposition.
French President Jacques Chirac says he is ready to work with Britain to explore ways of disarming Iraq, but a spokeswoman says Mr. Chirac continues to reject any talk of an ultimatum. Mr. Chirac made the remarks in a telephone conversation today (Friday) with Mr. Blair. France has threatened to veto the draft resolution.
One of the six undecided members of the U-N Security Council -- Chile -- says it is offering a compromise proposal. Chilean President Ricardo Lagos says his country and other council members will propose giving Iraq three weeks to meet five disarmament conditions. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer immediately rejected the Chilean proposal.
The 15-member Security Council could vote on the Iraqi issue in the next few days. However, the veto-wielding permanent members remain divided, with Britain and the United States on one side and France, Russia, and China on the other.