As the US Vice President makes his first tour abroad, starting in London, he and British prime Minister Tony Blair issue a joint statement stating that while Iraq is regarded as a risk, no decision to attack has yet been taken.
US Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney began his tour of11 countries in London with a lunch and press conference at Downing Street. The main issue on the agenda was Iraq and Cheney’s agenda in the coming days leaves no room for doubt, since his visit will take in most of the countries either having common frontiers with Iraq or in the region of the Persian Gulf, which would be strategically vital in the event of an attack.
The visit will take Cheney to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Israel, Turkey and. Egypt. In his words, “The main reason why the President wants me to go is to speak about the continuation of the war against terrorism and our operations, not only in Afghanistan”.
As the Iraqi Foreign Minister visits the UNO to speak about the return of the weapons inspectors, US National Security Advisor Condoleeza rice warns Saddam Hussein that he must allow a regime of inspections which checks all locations at a given moment. Should the Iraqi government accept such inspections unconditionally, now might be the right time to act, since such a move would defuse the situation and take away the pretext for an attack.
Many diplomatic sources around the world are speaking in terms of a decision to attack already having been made, the catch-phrase coined being not if, but when.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru