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February 26, 2003

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Voices raised in Chirac's party against veto
Significant elements - perhaps more than half - of Jacques Chirac's presidential majority in the National Assembly are making clear they oppose France's eventual use of its veto in the Security Council to block a new American-led resolution that would justify a strike against Iraq.

[..]But it constitutes a clear statement of concern about where the current French position would eventually lead and the damage that a possible veto could do to relations with the United States, the future of the United Nations as an institution, NATO, and France's place in Europe,

Leaders of the National Assembly majority, the UMP, including Alain Juppe, the party's president, Jacques Barrot, leader of its legislative group, and former Prime Minister Edouard Baladur, chairman of the Assembly's foreign affairs commission, were reported in the newspaper Le Monde as arguing that a veto would represent an extreme position risking a complete breakdown with the United States and many European countries.
"You don't fool around with your veto right in the knowledge that there can be a war tomorrow that the Americans, our allies, are involved in," said Pierre Lellouche, an activist in the Assembly group. "We're not going to shoot them in the back."

Asked in a radio interview if he meant that a veto would be a French bullet in the back of America, Lellouche replied, "Obviously." MORE.
So much for the French veto. And the Russians have signed on. Here we go.