British Prime Minister Tony Blair says he is committed to solving the Iraqi crisis through the United Nations, but he wants to see Saddam Hussein removed from power.
Mr. Blair told a conference of his Labor Party (Saturday) in Scotland U-N inspectors will have more time to carry out their search for banned weapons in Iraq. However, he said such work should continue only if it is clear that Iraq is cooperating fully with the U-N teams.
On Friday, the top U-N weapons inspectors briefed the 15-member Security Council Friday about their continuing efforts to get Iraq to comply with disarmament demands. They held out hope that inspections could work if there is more cooperation from Baghdad.
U-S Secretary of State Colin Powell said Washington will give Iraq a few more weeks to comply with U-N disarmament resolutions. However, he said the United States will not drop its pressure on Iraq -- an apparent signal that Washington remains willing to resort to force.
France, China and Russia called for giving inspectors more time to continue their work in Iraq. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin called for another report by the chief inspectors on March 14th.