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Europe

European Press Review: Washington's March to the U.N.

European editorial writers focused on reports that the United States would try to convince the U.N. Security Council to send a multinational peacekeeping force to Iraq.

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The United States is expected to propose a new U.N. Security Council resolution concerning Iraq on Friday

In Austria, the Kurier newspaper wrote that it wasn't appropriate to take malicious pleasure in Washington’s march to the United Nations. "It is now time to adjust to the new situation in Iraq," the paper wrote. It would be in the international community’s interest to "put out the fire that is Iraq as quickly as possible."

The Moscow-based daily Kommersant had a different take on things. It wrote that since the United States went to war without U.N. support, it should settle the mess on its own.

Corriere della Sera was more conciliatory. The Italian paper said a new U.N. resolution would be necessary to get countries such as India, Bangladesh and Turkey to commit troops to Iraq.

The Financial Times cautioned countries that were against the war from sending troops now on the basis of a new resolution. "The opponents of U.S. action in Iraq face an unenviable choice," the London-based paper wrote. If they agreed to a U.N. role and took part in a postwar clean-up they would have -- in the end -- done America’s bidding.

The French daily Libération agreed. "Under what conditions should a country allow itself to get involved in such an adventure -- especially countries that were so dead-set against sending in troops from the beginning?" it asked. Still, it reminded sceptics, it would be irresponsible to just sit around and do nothing.

Another issue of editorials was the crisis in the Middle East. The Swiss Tages-Anzeiger criticized both Palestinian Prime Minister Abbas and the Israelis for not living up to their sides of the bargain in working to bring peace to the region. Both agreed to the peace plan, but in practice they were not helping to improve the situation, the paper said. Prime Minister Abbas still hadn’t done enough to disband Palestinian terror groups and the Israelis continued to build settlements, it said.