IRAQ Developments


The latest developments in the tension over Iraq:
Pope John Paul II received Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz today, and the Vatican repeated its opposition to war and its insistence that Iraq demonstrate "concrete commitments" to disarm.
Inspection teams returned to Iraq's al-Muthanna chemical weapons installation, where they have been destroying artillery shells and neutralizing four plastic containers filled with mustard gas.
Six U.S. lawmakers, members of the military and parents of servicemen went to federal court to try to prevent the president from launching an invasion of Iraq without an explicit declaration of war from Congress.
Japan's foreign ministry told its citizens they must leave Iraq.
President Bush urged skeptical allies to "show backbone and courage" and stand up to Saddam Hussein. He said the United Nations must help him confront Saddam or "fade into history as an ineffective, irrelevant, debating society."
Secretary of State Colin Powell said the American people should be "prepared for a fairly long-term commitment" in Iraq after a possible war.
Source: Associated Press

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