As long as a new UN resolution on weapons inspection does not serve as a cover for an American military attack, Iraq will consider cooperating with it, state TV reports in Baghdad said. They quoted Saddam Hussein as telling visiting Austrian politician Jörg Haider: "We will view it in a way that makes us deal with it." Senior Iraqi officials have said for weeks that the proposed resolution offered by the US is both unnecessary and amounts to a "declaration of war."
Even if the UN Security Council endorses military action against Iraq, however, American forces will not be permitted to use any of Saudi Arabia's military facilities or its airspace, Prince Saud al-Faisal, the foreign minister, said Sunday. Despite its cooperation in the 1991 Gulf War, the oil-rich kingdom repeatedly has refused to help in the widely anticipated new assault. In Kuwait, the focus of the Gulf War, Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah said bases there may be used, but only if an attack has UN approval.
Western leaders were extending cautious welcomes to the landslide winner of Turkey's national election, the Justice and Development Party (AKP). Its easy win also sent the key index on Turkey's stock market surging to a 7.2 percent gain. Embattled Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit offered his resignation but agreed to remain in a caretaker capacity until the AKP can form a new government. It will have 363 of the 550 seats in parliament. But it still could be banned by the constitutional court on grounds that its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently served a prison term for "inciting religious hatred."
Despite last week's collapse of his government, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon survived three no-confidence votes in parliament. Sharon, who is trying to forge a right-wing coalition, persuaded the ultranationalist National Union-Yisrael Beitenu faction to abstain from the voting. But the latter said it would agree only to help win passage of Sharon's 2003 budget and then would work to force a new national election as soon as possible.
A car carrying explosives and communications equipment blew up while traveling in northern Yemen, killing six suspected Al Qaeda operatives. One of the dead was believed to be Qaed Senyan al-Harthi, who was sought in a roundup of men considered to have been involved in the October 2000 attack on the US warship Cole, which killed 17 sailors in Yemen's Aden harbor. Monday's explosion came one day after two people were hurt when ground fire struck a helicopter carrying personnel from US-owned Hunt Oil Co.
The first woman prime minister and her entire cabinet were fired by Senagal's president in the wake of the ferry accident Sept. 26 that killed an estimated 1,000 people. Mame Madior Boye's dismissal had been expected after the accident, the worst in African maritime history. The ferry was state-owned.