Chirac: France Would Oppose New U.N. Resolution Authorizing Force

French President Jacques Chirac said Monday his country would oppose any effort to draft a new U.N. resolution to explicitly authorize war against Iraq at this time.

"There is no need for a second resolution today, which France would have no choice but to oppose," Chirac said as he arrived for a European Union summit.

Chirac's statement strongly reaffirmed Franco-German efforts to prevent a war, resisting pressure from the United States and its strongest European ally, Britain, who say time is running out.

France and Germany, backed by Russia, proposed expanding U.N. weapons inspections in a joint statement last week.

In Washington, President Bush's national security adviser said Sunday the White House might push a new U.N. plan to force a showdown with Saddam Hussein.

Condoleezza Rice said on Fox News Sunday that the administration may ask the United Nations to take up a new resolution authorizing force against Iraq, although she said action already was sanctioned by a previous resolution.

The Bush administration was evaluating all options after being rebuffed Friday at the U.N. Security Council, where members lined up behind France's call for more weapons inspections and against military action.