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Saturday, 6 April, 2002, 23:26 GMT 00:26 UK
US and UK call for Iraq 'change'
Tony Blair and George Bush
Tony Blair and George Bush: "Options are open"
US President George W Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair have expressed their support for a change of regime in Iraq.

Speaking after a summit in Texas, Mr Blair said all options were open if Iraq continued to defy the United Nations by blocking weapons inspections.

The world would be better off without him [Saddam Hussein] and so would the future

President Bush
He said Britain and America had agreed that Iraq would be better off without Saddam Hussein.

However, both leaders were careful not to mention immediate military action against Iraq and emphasised that further discussions would have to take place.

'Heed the threat'

The situation in Iraq, which was originally expected to dominate the US-UK summit remained on the agenda, despite the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

President Bush warned of the possibility that Iraq could link up with a terrorist network and spread weapons of mass destruction.

"The world would be better off without him [Saddam Hussein] and so would the future," said Mr Bush.

Mr Blair said: "We must heed the threat [of weapons of mass destruction] and act to prevent it being realised".

"Now, how we approach this, this is a matter for discussion," said Mr Blair who faces opposition at home to a military offensive in Iraq.

The BBC's Rob Watson, who is covering the talks, says that although Mr Blair has often been portrayed as a moderating influence on the US leader, there was little evidence of that moderation in a performance from Mr Bush likely to do little in the battle for Arab public opinion.

The BBC's Nick Robinson
"They are talking tough in Texas"
Tim Reid, Washington Post
"The US sees Israel as a fellow victim of fundamentalist terror"
The BBC's Nick Robinson
"Blair hopes the President is listening"
See also:

06 Apr 02 | Americas
Bush and Blair's united stance
03 Apr 02 | UK Politics
Short 'carpeted' over Iraq
25 Mar 02 | Americas
'Determined' US resigned to war
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