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Thursday, 17 January, 2002, 00:01 GMT
Bush warns Iraq over arms
President Bush
Hawks want Mr Bush to attack Iraq next
President George W Bush has warned Iraq's leader Saddam Hussein that he must accept United Nations weapons inspectors back into the country or face action from the US.

"I expect Saddam Hussein to let inspectors back into the country," Mr Bush said.

"We want to know whether he's developing weapons of mass destruction. He claims he's not - let the world in to see - and if he doesn't, we'll have to deal with that at the appropriate time."

Ever since the fall of the Taleban in November, military experts have been speculating about where the US may strike next in its war against terrorism, and Iraq is often mentioned as a target.

But Mr Bush said no decision had been made on extending the war against terrorism beyond Afghanistan.

Turkish concern

Mr Bush was speaking during a visit to the White House by Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

Prime Minister Ecevit
Mr Ecevit wants Turkey to play a role in Afghanistan

Mr Ecevit has been keen to persuade the United States not to extend its war to include an attack on Iraq.

Turkey saw billions of dollars of trade disappear as a result of the Gulf War in 1990.

President Bush said his discussions with Mr Ecevit were global as well as regional in nature, and as an ally, he would be closely consulted on future strategy.

But Mr Bush said no decision had been made on whether Turkey would take a leading role in a second phase of peacekeeping in Afghanistan.

Both leaders also welcomed next week's talks, which are due to start between the Greek and Turkish leaders on the divided island of Cyprus.

See also:

22 Nov 01 | Middle East
Iraq fears US military attacks
12 Nov 01 | Middle East
Iraq fires mortar into Kuwait
07 Nov 01 | Middle East
Iraq 'smart sanctions' postponed
06 Nov 01 | Business
Iraq's trade fair gets underway
30 Oct 01 | Middle East
Iraq condemns US 'aggression'
28 Oct 01 | Middle East
Rumsfeld: Iraq may be target
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