Mexico Unlikely to Support USA on Iraq

President Fox said March 17 deadline was "obviously" too short for Iraq to disarm

Following Chile's weekend statement and despite US diplomatic efforts, the Mexican Government is moving forward to a possible abstention at the Tuesday scheduled UN Security Council meeting in New York. President Vicente Fox said that March 17 deadline was "not definitive", approaching French, Russian and German position to deal with Iraq.

However, the US State Secretary Colin Powell, insisted his country was close to obtain the necessary nine votes to pass the new resolution supported by Britain and Spain. Also, the US National Security Secretary Condoleezza Rice confirmed that she was ready to visit any reluctant country to convince its authorities about the necessity of threatening Iraq with the use of force.

"It is obvious that Iraq cannot disarm before March 17", said Fox to the local press. Theirs, are almost exactly the same words Chilean President Ricardo Lagos chose on his Saturday statement about this issue.

According to the local newspaper Reforma, the Mexican Government held on Sunday an extraordinary meeting to evaluate country's strategy at the UN Security Council. Mexico fears a confrontation with its northern neighbor would affect the commercial relation between both countries.

Diplomatic sources quoted by the Mexican newspaper say that President Fox would not agree a Head of States meeting at the UN Security Council to discuss the new resolution.

While the standoff continues, Mexican officials flew to Baghdad to evacuate national citizens living in the Iraqi Capital, including diplomatic representatives. With this action, Mexico follows US, Russian, French and UN decision to remove endangered fellow citizens from Iraq. The Mexican Ambassador to the United Nations, Aguilar Zinser also participated on the meetings. According with diplomatic sources Zinser presented Fox the two options Mexico is evaluating: to support new resolution or to abstain. President's words allow thinking that his country may choose the second alternative.

Hernan Etchaleco PRAVDA.Ru Latin America

Photo (Reforma): The Mexican ambassador to the united Nations, Adolfo Aguilar Zinser

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