PARIS - French, German, Russian foreign ministers said Wednesday at a news conference in Paris that they will "not allow" passage of a U.N. resolution to authorize war against Iraq.
"We will not allow a resolution to pass that authorizes resorting to force," French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said. "Russian and France, as permanent members of the Security Council, will assume their full responsibilities on this point."
When asked whether France would use its veto, as Russia has suggested it might do, de Villepin said, "We will take all our responsibilities. We are in total agreement with the Russians."
On Tuesday, Ivanov suggested Russia could veto a new U.S.-backed resolution seen as paving the way to war in Iraq. Ivanov also said his country was unlikely to abstain in any Security Council vote on Iraq.
Britain, the United States and Spain have proposed a draft resolution that says Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has missed his final opportunity to disarm.
The United States and Britain claim Iraq has refused to destroy its chemical and biological weapons, as ordered by the United Nations, and military action will probably be necessary to disarm Saddam.
Other Security Council members, led by France, say the U.N. inspections are working and want the inspectors to be given more time to hunt for banned chemical and biological arms.
On Tuesday, Ivanov was quoted as saying by the British Broadcasting Corp. that "Russia will not support any decision that would directly or indirectly open the way to war with Iraq."
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press