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Senator Biden and Senator Lugar on Iraq Resolution

Statements by Senator Biden and Senator Lugar
on Iraq Resolution
September 30, 2002

Following is a statement by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Josep R. Biden, Jr. regarding the resolution on Iraq drafted by Senator Biden and Senior Republican Committee member Richard Lugar:

"Last Friday afternoon Senator Richard Lugar and I drafted a resolution authorizing the President to use force to eliminate the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

We shared that draft resolution with the White House and with Senators Daschle and Lott. Today we reiterated the key points in that resolution in letters to the Senate and House leadership. Our goal from the outset has been to construct a resolution that helps the President attract strong bipartisan support in Congress. We believe our proposal best comports with the President's stated objectives for three reasons:

- it concentrates the authorization for the use of force on Iraq as opposed to the entire region;

- it focuses the authorization to use force on securing the dismantlement of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, not human rights violations, detainees, or the failure to return property; and

- it emphasizes the importance of international support manifested through the United Nations Security Council but reserves the right to act unilaterally if the Security Council fails to approve a new resolution requiring the dismantlement of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction in a timely fashion.

Our thinking was sharpened by Secretary of State Colin Powell's testimony before the Foreign Relations Committee last Thursday. We appreciate the importance the President attaches to constructing a resolution that can attract widespread support from Democrats and Republicans; we hope that our draft can contribute to that objective."

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