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Baghdad invasion a probability: Chirac

October 22, 2002


PARIS: Oct 21: President Jacques Chirac, who during the past two weeks has attempted to persuade the United States to think twice about undertaking a unilateral attack on Iraq, apparently with some success, says nevertheless that he “can’t yet rule out” the possibility of a war with Iraq.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of his visit late on Sunday to Jordan, where he was received by King Abdullah II, Mr Chirac said that as far as he was concerned, it was “much too premature to predict that the chances of war in Iraq have grown remote” as a result of France’s recent and persistent campaign to dissuade the United States from declaring war against Iraq without the prior consent of the United Nations Security Council.

The diplomatic campaign undertaken by France has seen French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin attempt to hammer home the point of the inopportune nature of a unilaterally-declared war by the US at the United Nations in New York, and by President Chirac himself, most recently in Beirut at the Ninth summit of Francophone nations.