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U.N. authorizes war if needed but major powers hope for peace

By
J.T. NGUYEN

UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council approved Thursday a resolution authorizing force to remove Iraqi troops from Kuwait -- the first such authorization since the Korean War -- but the major powers urged Iraq to leave without bloodshed.

The 15-nation council approved the measure, 12-2-1, after intense campaigning by the United States. China abstained, Cuba and Yemen voted against it.

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The resolution authorized the U.S.-dominated multinational force in the Persian Gulf, including some Arab troops, to use armed might to drive the 400,000 Iraqi troops from Kuwait if President Saddam Hussein has not withdrawn them by Jan. 15.

Secretary of State James Baker, who presided over the meeting, said the presence of 13 foreign ministers in the council meeting was a testimony to the seriousness of crisis.

Baker joined foreign ministers Eduard Shevardnadze of the Soviet Union, Douglas Hurd of Britain and Roland Dumas of France in calling for renewed diplomacy to persuade Saddam to withdraw.

The four ministers, using similar language, said the Security Council would not take any further action against Iraq until Jan. 15, 'assuming no adverse change in circumstances.'

'We do so while retaining our rights to protect our foreign nationals in Iraq and mindful of the terms of the Fourth Geneva convention and the Geneva Protocol of 1925, should Saddam Hussein use chemical or biological weapons,' Baker said.

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The ministers said they will seek a peaceful solution to the crisis that began with Iraq's Aug. 2 invasion of oil-rich Kuwait and led to the deployment of nearly a half-million troops to discourage further Iraqi aggression.

President Bush, in Washington, called the resolution 'a very powerful statement and everybody ought to understand how strong it is and how important it is.'

'Everybody wants a peaceful resolution. I think this would drive home the point to him that he's got to get out of Kuwait,' he said.

Also in Washington, Iraq's ambassador to the United States, Mohammed Al-Mashat, called the resolution 'selective' because the U.N. has not imposed sanctions against Israel for its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

'It is scandalous and shameful,' Al-Mashat said. 'It doesn't receive our respect.' But he said, 'We are not scared of it. It will not make any difference. The only thing that makes a difference is negotiating for peace.'

China's Foreign Minister Qian Qichen said he abstained because his country opposes war in the Middle East and called for mediation.

Resolution 678 was the 12th document adopted on the crisis since the invasion and was approved by the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, France, Canada, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Finland, Malaysia, Zaire and Romania.

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Previous U.N. resolutions demanded Iraq's withdrawal and imposed stringent economic sanctions on it.

Shevarnadze, echoing Baker's call for mediation, said, 'We are confident that before the time is up a turn toward peace will have occured and that the pause will usher in a transtition to a political settlement.

'No member of the council wants or seeks a tragic outcome,' he said. 'But neither should anyone be mistaken about the collective will of the international community as expressed here, about its resolve and readiness to act.'

Shevardnadze said later the resolution was adopted 'to prevent a war.'

Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar told the council the period until Jan. 15 should be used 'to the most constructive purpose.'

'To my mind, the situation requires that diplomatic efforts be undertaken with renewed determination to put the present crisis on the road to a peaceful outcome,' the U.N. leader said.

Eighteen speakers, including the council's 15 members, spoke on the resolution. All warned of the devastating consequences of war and called for a peaceful solution.

The resolution said Iraq has rejected U.N. orders to withdraw 'in flagrant contempt of the council' and gave Iraq 'one final opportunity, as a pause of goodwill,' to withdraw from Kuwait, which it has annexed.

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It 'authorizes member states cooperating with the government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before January 15, 1991, fully implements ... the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement the Security Council Resolution 660 and all subsequent relevant Resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;

The council requested all states 'provide appropriate support' for actions to force Iraq to withdraw.NEWLN: more

Nine votes are required to pass a resolution if none of the five permanent members -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, China and France -- votes against it

The only other time the United Nations authorized force was July 7, 1950, when it voted, 7-0 with three abstensions, to allow a multinational force under U.S. command to fight with South Korea against invading North Korea, which was mostly helped by the new communist regime in China.

The Soviet Union did not participate in that debate because it was boycotting the United Nations to protest the fact that China's U.N. seat was held by the exiled government in Taiwan. The Korean war lasted three years.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber called Thursday's vote a 'landmark of united stand to condemn aggression and to ensure that the future will be ruled by international law.'

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Before the vote, Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Abdul Amir Al-Anbari accused the United States of trying to subjugate other countries to the 'American order,' of denying Iraq a peace dialogue and of imposing a 'logic of arrogance and brutality.'

Al-Anbari repeated his government's demand that Iraq's withdrawal from Kuwait be linked to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

'Middle East's problems cannot be isoated from each other,' Al- Anbari said.

Yemeni Ambassador Abdalla Saleh Al-Ashtal said his country could not vote for force, despite voting for earlier resolutions calling for an Iraqi withdrawal, and said the resolution's wording is 'so broad and vague' that the force it authorized would not be limited to implementing previous resolutions on the crisis.

He said a military action would undermine the democratic process in the gulf region, which has been severely hurt economically by the U.N. economic sanctions.

'We have no alternative to peace,' Al-Ashtal said.

x x x to withdraw.

Nine votes are needed to pass a resolution if none of the five permanent members -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, China and France -- casts a negative vote, which consitutes a veto.

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It was the second time the U.NM. authorized use of force. On July 7, 1950, the council voted 7-0, with three abstentions, to allow a multinational force under U.S. command to fight with South Korea against North Korea, which was mostly helped by the new communist regime in Beijing.

The Soviet Union did not participate in the debate because it was boycotting the U.N. to protest the fact that the Chinese U.N. seat was occupied by the exiled government in Taipei. The Korean War lasted three years.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber called Thursday's meeting a 'landmark of united stand to condemn aggression and to ensure that the future will be ruled by international law.'

Before the vote, Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Abdul Amir Al-Anbari accused the United States of trying to subjugate other countries to the 'American order,' of denying Iraq a peace dialogue and of imposing a 'logic of arrogance and brutality.'

Al-Anbari said the resolution was issued under the 'U.S. hegemony .. . which has shown an arbitrary and biased behavior' toward Iraq.

Al-Anbari repeated his government's demand to link the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait to the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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'Middle East's problems cannot be isolated from each other,' Al- Anbari said.

Yemen's ambassador to the U.N., Abdalla Saleh Al-Ashtal, said his country could not support the resolution, despite voting for previous resolutions calling for an Iraqi withdrawl from Kuwait.

He said the wording of the resolution was 'so broad and vague' that the use of force would not be limited to just implementing previous resolutions.

Al-Ashtal said force would undermine the democratic process in the gulf region, which has been severely hurt economically by the U.N. trade sanctions.

'We have no alternative to peace,' Al-Ashtal said.

To win further support for the resolution, Baker met with some of the foreign ministers attending the meeting. He met Wednesday with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and with British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and Finnish Foreign Minister Pertti Kullervio Passio on Thursday. French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas also consulted Thursday with his Chinese counterpart, Qian Qichen.

The talks involving delegates of the five Security Council permanent members were aimed at maintaining unity among them in dealing with the crisis.

The U.N. Security Council approved Thursday the use of force to drive Iraqi troops out of Kuwait if President Saddam Hussein has not ordered their withdrawal by Jan. 15, the first such authorization in more than 40 years.

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The 15-nation council authorized the military measure with a 12-2-1 vote. China, one of the five Security Council permanent members with the right to veto any resolution, abstained and Cuba and Yemen voted against.

Secretary of State James Baker, who presided over the meeting, said the presence of 13 foreign ministers at the council meeting was a testimony of the seriousness of Persian Gulf crisis.

'Our aim today must be to convince Saddam Hussein that the just, humane demands of this council and the international community cannot be ignored,' Baker said at the start of the meeting.

'If Iraq does not reverse its course peacefully, then other necessary measures -- including the use of force -- should be authorized,' he said. 'We must put the choice to Saddam Hussein in unmistakable terms.'

President Bush, speaking with reporters shortly after the U.N. vote, called the resolution 'a very powerful statement and everybody ought to understand how strong it is and how important it is.'

'Everybody wants a peaceful resolution. I think this would drive home the point to him that he's got to get out of Kuwait,' he said.

In Washington, Iraq's ambassador to the United States, Mohammed Al- Mashat, attacked the resolution as 'selective,' because the U.N. has not imposed sanctions against Israel for its occupation of the West Bank and other Arab lands.

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'It is scandalous and shameful,' Al-Mashat said. 'It doesn't receive our respect.'

However, he added: 'We are not scared of it. It will not make any difference. The only thing that makes a difference is negotiating for peace.'

Voting for the resolution were the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, France, Canada, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Finland, Malaysia, Zaire and Romania.

The resolution said Iraq has refused to comply with U.N. resolutions 'in flagrant contempt of the council' and gave Iraq 'one final opportunity, as a pause of goodwill,' to withdraw the 400,000-plus troops that have occupied Kuwait since Aug. 2.

It 'authorizes member states cooperating with the government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before January 15, 1991, fully implements ... the foregoing Resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement the Security Council Resolution 660 and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;

The council requested all states to 'provide appropriate support' for the actions undertaken to force Iraq to withdraw.

Nine votes are needed to pass a resolution if none of the five permanent members -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, China and France -- casts a negative vote, which consitutes a veto.

Advertisement

It was the second time the U.NM. authorized use of force. On July 7, 1950, the council voted 7-0, with three abstentions, to allow a multinational force under U.S. command to fight with South Korea against North Korea, which was mostly helped by the new communist regime in Beijing.

The Soviet Union did not participate because it was boycotting the U. N. to protest the fact that the Chinese U.N. seat was occupied by the exiled government in Taipei. The Korean War lasted three years.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber called Thursday's meeting a 'landmark of united stand to condemn aggression and to ensure that the future will be ruled by international law.'

Before the vote, Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Abdul Amir Al-Anbari accused the United States of trying to subjugate other countries to the 'American order,' of denying Iraq a peace dialogue and of imposing a 'logic of arrogance and brutality.'

Al-Anbari said the resolution was issued under the 'U.S. hegemony .. . which has shown an arbitrary and biased behavior' toward Iraq and he repeated his government's demand to link the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait to the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

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'Middle East's problems cannot be isolated from each other,' Al- Anbari said.

Yemen's ambassador to the U.N., Abdalla Saleh Al-Ashtal, said his country could not support the resolution, despite voting for previous resolutions calling for an Iraqi withdrawl from Kuwait.

He said the wording of the resolution was 'so broad and vague' that the use of force would not be limited to just implementing previous resolutions and that it would undermine the democratic process in the gulf region, which has been severely hurt economically by the U.N. trade sanctions.

'We have no alternative to peace,' Al-Ashtal said.

To win further support for the resolution, Baker met with some of the foreign ministers attending the meeting. He met Wednesday with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and with British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and Finnish Foreign Minister Pertti Kullervio Passio on Thursday. French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas also consulted Thursday with his Chinese counterpart, Qian Qichen.

The talks involving delegates of the five Security Council permanent members were aimed at maintaining unity among them in dealing with the crisis.

Nine votes are needed to pass a resolution if none of the five permanent members -- the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, China and France -- casts a negative vote, which consitutes a veto.

Advertisement

It was the second time the U.NM. authorized use of force. On July 7, 1950, the council voted 7-0, with three abstentions, to allow a multinational force under U.S. command to fight with South Korea against North Korea, which was mostly helped by the new communist regime in Beijing.

The Soviet Union did not participate in the debate because it was boycotting the U.N. to protest the fact that the Chinese U.N. seat was occupied by the exiled government in Taipei. The Korean War lasted three years.

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber called Thursday's meeting a 'landmark of united stand to condemn aggression and to ensure that the future will be ruled by international law.'

Before the vote, Iraq's U.N. Ambassador Abdul Amir Al-Anbari accused the United States of trying to subjugate other countries to the 'American order,' of denying Iraq a peace dialogue and of imposing a 'logic of arrogance and brutality.'

Al-Anbari said the resolution was issued under the 'U.S. hegemony .. . which has shown an arbitrary and biased behavior' toward Iraq.

Al-Anbari repeated his government's demand to link the withdrawal of Iraq from Kuwait to the Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Advertisement

'Middle East's problems cannot be isolated from each other,' Al- Anbari said.

Yemen's ambassador to the U.N., Abdalla Saleh Al-Ashtal, said his country could not support the resolution, despite voting for previous resolutions calling for an Iraqi withdrawl from Kuwait.

He said the wording of the resolution was 'so broad and vague' that the use of force would not be limited to just implementing previous resolutions.

Al-Ashtal said force would undermine the democratic process in the gulf region, which has been severely hurt economically by the U.N. trade sanctions.

'We have no alternative to peace,' Al-Ashtal said.

To win further support for the resolution, Baker met with some of the foreign ministers attending the meeting. He met Wednesday with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze and with British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd and Finnish Foreign Minister Pertti Kullervio Passio on Thursday. French Foreign Minister Roland Dumas also consulted Thursday with his Chinese counterpart, Qian Qichen.

The talks involving delegates of the five Security Council permanent members were aimed at maintaining unity among them in dealing with the crisis.

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