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Saudis signal support for U.N.-endorsed action against Iraq

From Jonathan Mann

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Saudi Arabia's foreign minister signaled Saturday that his country would be willing to allow its territory and facilities to be used for military action against Iraq -- but only if such action is backed by a U.N. Security Council resolution.

In an interview with CNN's Jonathan Mann, Prince Saud al-Faisal said that if action is taken under a U.N. mandate, then all U.N. member states, including Saudi Arabia, would be obligated to support it.

However, Saudi Arabia still explicitly opposes toppling Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and any unilateral military action by the United States against Iraq.

Thursday, President Bush called on the United Nations to push Hussein to comply with 16 U.N. resolutions passed since the Gulf War, requiring the Iraqi regime to dismantle any capability to make chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons.

Al-Faisal said Bush's address had changed matters considerably. He said the president's decision to invite the United Nations to address Washington's concerns in Iraq, rather than taking unilateral action, means that U.N. members are obliged to support the decisions the U.N. takes.




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