7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
World News


MADRID: US President George W Bush threatened nations with retaliation if they did not vote for a UN resolution backing the Iraq war. He told former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar that nations like Mexico, Angola, Chile and Cameroon must know that the security of the US is at stake, according to a transcript published yesterday.

He says during the meeting on his ranch in Texas that Angola stood to lose financial aid while Chile could see a free trade agreement held up in the US Senate if they did not back the resolution, according to the transcript of the meeting on February 22, 2003 - a month before the US-led invasion of Iraq - published in the El Pais daily.

The confidential transcript was prepared by Javier Ruperez, Spain's ambassador to the US at the time, the paper said.

The report also said that according to the transcripts Saddam Hussein was prepared to take $1 billion (BD378 million) and go into exile before the war.

"The Egyptians are speaking to Saddam Hussein. It seems he's indicated he would be prepared to go into exile if he's allowed to take $1bn and all the information he wants about weapons of mass destruction," Bush was quoted as saying at the meeting with Aznar.

Prior to the US-led invasion of Iraq on March 20, 2003, Washington unsuccessfully lobbied the 15 members of the UN Security Council for a second resolution paving the way for military action against Iraq if Saddam failed to comply with demands to disarm.

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