The European Union told the United States on Wednesday that while there is "no doubt" that Saddam Hussein is dangerous, Washington should not try to deal with the Iraqi leader alone.
"It is vitally important to pursue the U.N. track," said Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen after meeting with Secretary of State Colin Powell on the sidelines of the World Summit.
The EU and United States agree that "here and now, we should concentrate our efforts on ensuring that international weapons inspectors can get free and unhindered access" to Iraq, said Fogh Rasmussen, whose country holds the EU presidency.
He said it was "premature" to say what "will or should happen" if Saddam continues to refuse the U.N. Security Council's demands.
But he said he was heartened that Powell underlined that "the United States attaches the strongest importance to the involvement of the international community in this Iraq case" and stressed the "importance of international coalition building."
"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein is a problem," Fogh Rasmussen said, "no doubt that he has the capability of producing weapons of mass destruction, and from experience we know that he has the willingness to use them."
He said the international community should apply the strongest pressure on Iraq to accept the weapons inspectors.