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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 19 March, 2003, 03:39 GMT
Iraq crisis hour-by-hour: 18 March
BBC News Online charts developments in the Iraq crisis hour-by-hour as diplomatic efforts to avert a war expire. [All times GMT and approximate]

Tuesday 18 March

2310 Turkish Government says it will ask MPs again to allow US request for permission to fly over territory during any Iraq campaign.

2228 UK Parliament approves use of military force to disarm Iraq by 412 votes to 149.

2214 Anti-war amendment defeated in UK Parliament despite signs of increased rebellion against Prime Minister Tony Blair.

1821 UN reports all foreign staff to be evacuated from Baghdad have now arrived in Cyprus.

NEXT MAJOR DATES
0700 Weds 19 March: Iraqi national assembly emergency session
1500 Weds 19 March: FMs of Security Council members meet
0100 Thurs 20 March: US ultimatum to President Saddam Hussein expires
1743 White House declares US forces would enter Iraq even if Saddam Hussein obeys order to leave.

1649 US Secretary of State Colin Powell says 45 nations have signed up to the "coalition of the willing" against Iraq.

1245 The Iraqi leadership rejects the US ultimatum for President Saddam Hussein and his sons to leave the country.

1238 UK Prime Minister Tony Blair makes case for war to the House of Commons in a major debate: "I believe passionately we must hold firm to that course [of disarmament of Iraq]".

1110 Home Office minister John Denham becomes third MP to quit the UK Government over Iraq.

1108 The Vatican warns that those who go to war with Iraq "assume a grave responsibility before God, their conscience and history".

1030 French President Jacques Chirac denounces impending US invasion as bound to undermine future efforts at peaceful disarmament.

0900 German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder says there is no justification for war against Iraq and no reason to end the weapons inspections.

0855 Departing UN weapons inspectors arrive in Cyprus.

0723 Health minister Lord Hunt becomes second UK minister to resign over Iraq.

0500 France says President Bush's ultimatum to Saddam Hussein is "contrary to the will of the UN Security Council".

0122 US increases terrorism alert to orange, the second highest level.

0100 President Bush delivers live television address. He says "Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military conflict, commenced at time of our choosing."




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