The United States will a submit a new draft resolution on Iraq to the UN Security Council later today.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said the text will be short and to-the point, and will underscore the importance of UN Security Council resolution 1441. He said President Bush expects the council to consider the new draft resolution -- in his words -- "in short order".
The resolution is expected to declare Baghdad to be in violation of UN demands to give up weapons of mass destruction, opening the door to war against the Iraqi government.
The Security Council has announced it is holding closed-door consultations this afternoon.
British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says Britain and the United States want the Security Council to vote on the resolution within about two weeks. Speaking today (Monday) in Brussels, Mr. Straw called on France to support the new resolution and to stop, in his words, indulging Saddam Hussein.
France says it will introduce competing new proposals to the U-N Security Council on Monday . French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said Paris will call for specific measures to toughen the UN arms inspections in Iraq. France -- one of five veto-holding members of the Security Council -- has been leading opposition to the U-S and British push for using force to make Iraq disarm.
Russia and Germany also expressed their determination again on Monday to resolve the Iraqi crisis without going to war.
British Defense Secretary Geoff Hoon says there is still time to resolve the Iraq crisis peacefully. During a visit to Kuwait today (Monday), Mr. Hoon said "the choice of what happens next rests in Baghdad." He added that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will not disarm without the threat of war.