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Tuesday, 3 December, 2002, 20:29 GMT
Where the world stands on Iraq
UK Turkey Germany France Russia Israel Bahrain Kuwait Qatar Egypt Saudi Arabia Iran Jordan Syria China Japan Australia

The US has been trying to build diplomatic support for military action to topple the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Click on the map to find out where key countries stand on the issue.

United Kingdom:

Prime Minister Tony Blair has been President Bush's most supportive European ally on this issue.

He agrees with the US that weapons inspectors should not return until a tough new UN resolution, threatening force against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein unless he gives up his weapons of mass destruction, is in place.

He has presented a dossier of evidence on Iraq's alleged build up of weapons of mass destruction.

Senior members of the prime minister's cabinet and many within his party are not convinced, and oppose military action.

But Mr Blair seems determined to commit British troops to any operations against Iraq.

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Turkey's strategic location and frequent co-operation have made it the US's most important military partner in the region.

It already allows US and British planes to use its bases from which the no-fly zone over Northern Iraq is enforced

The United States says it is willing to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in military bases in Turkey in preparation for a possible conflict with Iraq.

But Ankara has, so far, made no commitment to allowing American troops to use Turkish air space and facilities for military intervention in Iraq.

Turkey has been very hesitant to join an invasion. One of its main concerns seems to be that the Kurds of northern Iraq might try to set up their own state and that this would encourage the separatist tendencies of Turkey's own Kurds.

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Germany is the only major European nation that has said it will not take part in an attack on Iraq, even if endorsed by the UN Security Council.

Germany has appealed for a diplomatic solution, arguing that international efforts to fight terrorism, rebuild Afghanistan and calm the conflict in the Middle East could be destabilised by a strike against Iraq.

Germany provided finance, but not troops, in the Gulf War campaign.

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Has backed the return of weapons inspectors, but has serious reservations about an attack on Iraq.

It has suggested a two-stage process, with a new UN resolution authorising the use of force only being passed in the event of weapons inspectors being once more prevented from carrying out their work.

France is one of the European states most keen to resume trade with Iraq and win reconstruction contracts.

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Russia has indicated that it might agree to use of military force against Iraq under UN authority if Baghdad blocks the work of weapons inspectors.

Over the past few months, it has opposed any mention of military force in a new UN resolution before UN inspectors have been give the chance to resume their work.

Russia's status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council gives it a right of veto over any resolution.

President Putin may be looking for US guarantees that a future Iraqi Government would honour its debt to Russia of about $8bn for past purchases of weapons and other goods.

Some observers also say Moscow would expect the US to turn a blind eye towards possible attacks on Chechen rebels in Georgia in return for its support.

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Supports the US policy of regime change in Iraq. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has repeatedly called for President Bush not to delay military action. The Israeli public is being prepared for retaliatory Iraqi missile attacks against Israel.

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A key ally of the US in the Gulf, and home to the US Navy's 5th Fleet - almost certainly a key element in any attack on Iraq. However, Bahrain's King, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, expressed his "determined opposition to any unilateral military action against Iraq".

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Was invaded by Iraq a decade ago, triggering the Gulf War. Kuwait is the strongest regional supporter of plans to topple Saddam Hussein - despite unanimous Arab League statements vigorously opposing unilateral military action. More than 4,000 US troops are based in the country.

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With Kuwait, it would probably be the second major base for any American invasion. It provided an airbase in 1991. But in the meantime, Qatar, like other Gulf states, would prefer a diplomatic solution to be found.

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Saudi Arabia:

Previously said it would allow the US to use its bases for a strike on Iraq - providing the action is endorsed by the UN.

But in an early November, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said that while his country would co-operate with any Security Council resolution on Iraq, it would not allow the US to use its facilities for any attack.

He later pulled back from this, and suggested that his government had not decided whether or not to allow US troops to use bases in Saudi.

During the 1991 Gulf War Saudi Arabia was an active part of the coalition and provided bases and forces for Operation Desert Storm.

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Along with other Arab states, Cairo called on Iraq to allow the unconditional return of UN weapons inspectors.

President Mubarak, whose country receives $2bn a year in US aid, said Iraq should "seize the opportunity" to "avoid serious repercussions".

Egypt sent troops to fight with the coalition in the Gulf War, but Mr Mubarak has argued this time the Americans should first tackle the Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

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Has always had an ambivalent attitude about attacks on Iraq. At heart, it would be only too delighted to see Saddam Hussein removed, but it also fears that Washington's plans to attack Iraq are part of a strategic ambition to gain more influence in the Gulf region. Officially Tehran opposes an attack on Iraq.

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With a large Palestinian population and a border with Iraq, Jordan has vociferously opposed military action against Iraq.

King Abdullah has argued that the priority should be to settle the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

However, he has also said that a war would be Saddam Hussein's responsibility, suggesting the country may stay neutral if fighting starts.

Jordan is dependent on Iraq for its entire domestic oil needs.

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Has traditionally opposed Saddam Hussein and sent forces to the Gulf War in 1991. It is highly unlikely to do so again, as it views military action as part of an attempt to install puppet regimes in the region to serve US and Israeli interests.

However, Syria could use the opportunity to press for the return of the Golan Heights from Israel.

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China has said that the United Nations should focus on the swift return of weapons inspectors and not on military action against Saddam Hussein's regime.

Although China does not support military action, it is expected to abstain from any Security Council resolution backing force.

Beijing may though support an alternative motion, proposed by France, delaying any threat of military action until the UN weapons inspectors have completed their task, or been prevented from doing so.

Beijing may expect greater US support over its policies in Taiwan in return for not obstructing an attack.

Prime Minister Zhu Rongji has warned of "severe consequences" if the US launches unilateral strikes.

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Japan was a key source of finance for the US during the Gulf War but it is cautious about supporting a new war.

Prime Minister Koizumi said: "The use of force is a last resort where there is no other options".

Japan is banned under its pacifist constitution from using force to settle international disputes.

It passed a controversial anti-terrorist law to enable it to provide logistical support to the US-led military operations in Afghanistan.

The law in its current form would not cover similar involvement in Iraq. And public opinion is firmly opposed to any US attack on Baghdad.

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The government has promised to give "serious consideration" to a request for military help from the United States.

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