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(AFX-Focus) 2003-03-25 20:06 GMT: IRAQ WAR US says unaware of Saudi peace plan

WASHINGTON (AFX) - The US State Department said it was not aware of any Saudi peace proposal to end the Iraq war.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said earlier he had presented a plan to the US and Iraq.

Prince Saud, who spoke to US Secretary of State Colin Powell by telephone on Sunday, did not give details.

But State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that "there is no particular approach or proposal made to us from Saudi Arabia at this stage."

Earlier, unnamed US officials downplayed the significance of a plan for Iraq, suggesting it was more of a desire to see an end to the conflict than a concrete proposal. Two other officials signaled that the United States would likely reject the offer.

Boucher also rejected a request from the Arab League for a new UN Security Council meeting to demand the withdrawal of US and British troops from Iraq.

"We don't believe it's time to go to the UN for another debate," said Boucher.

"This conflict arose because the Iraqi regime refused to disarm peacefully, so unfortunately we think that the time for cooperative solutions with this Iraqi regime has passed," the spokesman insisted.


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