- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 16, 2003

WASHINGTON, March 16 (UPI) — Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that United States did not need another U.N. resolution to go to war against Iraq, reiterating that Washington believes it already has the legal authority it needs for war.

As President George W. Bush headed to an emergency summit in the Azores, Powell said he did not expect a new proposal to emerge from the 11th-hour diplomatic review.

Appearing on ABC news program "This Week," Powell did not say whether the United States would withdraw the second resolution now pending before U.N. Security Council, which has failed to garner support and forced the extraordinary weekend conference at a U.S. air base in Portugal's Azores Islands.

"Would I love to have seen others come to the same conclusion we did, that there is a total lack of compliance on the part of Saddam Hussein, that all we're seeing is games? Of course," he said. "Would I have liked to have seen a second resolution because it would have helped our friends with some of their political difficulties? Yes. Do we need a second resolution? No."

Pakistan's U.N. Ambassador Munir Akram, who appeared on the same program, said in order to reach a compromise in the U.N. Security Council more time was needed. But Powell rejected that proposal outright.

"We have had timelines, we have had deadlines, we have had benchmarks. The problem is, Iraq is not complying. Iraq is playing the United Nations and playing some of our friends in the permanent membership of the Security Council like a fiddle," Powell said.

Later on CNN's "Late Edition," Powell said that journalists and others should consider leaving Baghdad not just for the dangers of a possible U.S.-led attack but also because Saddam could take them hostage.

"I think it is a dangerous time in Baghdad and each person in Baghdad whether a news person, inspector or in some other capacity, has to take a look at whether or not it is not time to leave," Powell said.

"It is a judgment each of them will have to make not just for the threat of potential military action, but from the threat of Saddam Hussein taking them as hostages."

He said he thought it was best if those people began making plans to leave Baghdad. "My personal advice is they ought to take a hard look at the situation they are in, and it would probably be better for them to start leaving or make plans to leave," he said.

Asked as to why he did not travel with Bush to the Azores, Powell said he remained to coordinate with other foreign ministers as the showdown with Iraq reached a climax, Powell reiterated that the United States opposed giving Saddam much additional time to disarm as asked by some members of the Security Council.

"I'm not expecting, really, a new proposal" to come from the session between Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar and Portugal's Prime Minister Durao Barroso, he added.

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