Washington, Oct. 4 (Reuters): The United States was working with Britain and France to bridge differences over a United Nations resolution on Iraq and European diplomats today said they believe Washington has softened its opposition to a two-stage process.
“We’ve not decided specifically (on two resolutions). We still want one resolution but we’re exploring with the British and the French ways of bridging the difference between the resolution that we want and the two the French want,” a senior US official told Reuters.
Said a western diplomat: “Our impression is that the state department is looking for a compromise...They are facing the fact that the (US) draft is not as popular as it could have been.”
But the diplomat said his government was still hearing reports of internal division within the Bush administration over whether to compromise on the UN resolution. The United States insists that the UN Security Council must pass a tough new resolution giving instructions to UN weapons inspectors and spelling out the consequences — the threat of enforcement by “all means necessary” — if Iraq tries to thwart disarmament of its weapons of mass destruction.
But the resolution has faced opposition from France, Russia and China for giving any UN member, such as Washington, an automatic right to use force when it perceives an Iraqi violation.
Jerusalem holy clash
Israeli police firing stun grenades burst into one of Islam's holiest sites in Jerusalem today to disperse Palestinians who had stoned policemen guarding the Western Wall plaza below that is holy to Jews.