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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 26 February, 2003, 13:57 GMT
Can the US sway the Security Council?
UN Security Council
Can US influence and cajoling sway the Security Council?
The United States has the backing at the Security Council of the United Kingdom, Spain and Bulgaria for its position on Iraq. How easy is it going to be for the US to win over the other 11 members of the current council?

Stated position: At a Franco-African summit, Angola backed the French position calling for continued and strengthened inspections.

Room for manoeuvre: Angola is expected to abstain but may eventually come round to the US position because of its dependence on the US for aid and trade. American oil companies are the biggest investors in Angola and the US is its biggest single aid donor. British and French officials have visited Amgola to try win its vote.

Other factors: Angola is emerging from 25 years of civil war. The majority of Angolans do not benefit from country's huge oil wealth. Life expectancy in Angola, for example, is the lowest in Africa.

Stated position: Cameroon has backed the French position calling for continued and strengthened inspections.

Room for manoeuvre: As a member of the Commonwealth, Cameroon may be susceptible to pressure from Britain. As the former colonial power in Cameroon, France may, on the other hand, have some leverage on the country's vote.

Stated position: Chile is staunchly opposed to a war in Iraq, and insists that the final decision on a war should be the UN's alone. It has said it will vote against a second resolution on Iraq.

Other factors: Chile is hoping to negotiate a free trade agreement with the US. This is awaiting ratification by the legislatures of both countries.

Stated position: Beijing supports further weapons inspections and has argued that there is no justification for military action, nor any need for a new resolution.

Room for manoeuvre: Analysts say that China is unlikely to veto the new draft resolution on Iraq, but is more likely to abstain.

Other factors: China is susceptible to US pressure on a range of issues, above all trade. A recent visit to Beijing by US Secretary of State Colin Powell did not reveal which way China was likely to go.

Stated position: Paris has serious reservations about an attack on Iraq. It continues to press for a diplomatic solution and further inspections. France has said that it will veto the current draft resolution sponsored by the US, UK and Spain.

Room for manoeuvre: France has led the opposition to a war in Iraq at the Security Council and has borne angry criticism and scorn from US officials as a result. There is some room for manoeuvre - France has not ruled out the use of force against Iraq; it is arguing that inspections are working and diplomacy has not been exhausted.

Other factors: US and UK officials have argued that French opposition to war is based not on principle but on oil interests negotiated since the last Gulf War.

Stated position: 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 Security Council.

Room for manoeuvre: There is little ambiguity in Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's position. He was re-elected in 2002 on a ticket of opposing a war in Iraq. The traditionally close relationship between Germany and the US has come under severe strain because of differences over Iraq.

Other factors: A consequence of the US-German estrangement may be that Washington will cut and downgrade its network of military bases in Germany and move them to the more sympathetic states of Eastern Europe.

Stated position: Guinea has backed the French position calling for continued and strengthened inspections.

Room for manoeuvre: Guinea is seen as one of the undecided states on the council. It receives $50m of aid, arms and military assistance from the US, and therefore may vote with Washington. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has toured Angola, Cameroon and Guinea to try to win them over to Paris' point of view.

Other factors: As the former colonial power in Guinea, France may have some leverage on the country's vote.

Stated position: The government line is that Iraq should be disarmed, but that weapons inspections should be given more time.

Room for manoeuvre: Mexico is having to balance delicately between popular domestic opinion which is overwhelming against the war and the wishes of its powerful northern neighbour. Mexican officials have said they are seeking "a consensus position" between the US and UK sponsored resolution and the French and German proposals. Mexico is expected, in the end, to vote with the US.

Other factors: Mexico is massively reliant on US trade and aid - 80% of its trade is with America. Mexico and the US are currently negotiating a comprehensive immigration treaty to safeguard the rights of the estimated 10 to 12 million legal and illegal Mexican immigrants in the US.

Stated position: As a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, Pakistan has backed a statement opposing unilateral action on Iraq, stressing the importance of the UN as the avenue for dealing with international crises.

Room for manoeuvre: Pakistan's relations with the US have improved dramatically in recent years, and it might be persuaded by an analysis of its national interest to back Washington.

Other factors: Islamabad's alliance with the US over Afghanistan and in the "war on terror" after 11 September was a very significant decision, winning it aid and trade and gaining it international recognition in its disputes with India.

Stated position: Russia has called for the UN weapons inspectors to be given more time to complete their work and insisted that the inspections have not provided evidence that would justify a war in Iraq. Moscow has said it will veto the current draft resolution on Iraq sponsored by the US, UK and Spain.

Room for manoeuvre: President Vladimir Putin has assiduously worked to build up relations with the US. This though is balanced by Moscow's close relations with Europe and particularly Germany, the biggest foreign investor in Russia. The US ambassador to Moscow, Alexander Vershbow, has warned that US-Russia relations may suffer if Moscow vetoes a new resolution on Iraq.

Other factors: 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.

Stated position: Syria is adamantly opposed to a war in Iraq and is expected to vote against a second resolution.

Room for manoeuvre: Syria 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 US military action as part of an attempt to install puppet regimes in the region to serve US and Israeli interests.


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