SANA, Yemen -- Secretary of State James A. Baker III, in his quest for a new United Nations resolution authorizing the use of force against Iraq, failed to win the support of Yemen, the only Arab nation presently on the U.N. Security Council, during a visit here yesterday.
"We knew it was going to be a very tough nut," a senior U.S. official said later. "But Secretary Baker is not at all disappointed or discouraged by the visit. They [the Yemenis] did not say no."
The official was reflecting the hope that Yemen, rather than vote against the projected resolution, might abstain when it is introduced, probably late next week.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh reiterated his opposition both to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and to the presence of any foreign forces in the Persian Gulf, contending that the U.S.-led coalition lined up against Iraq "complicates the problem rather than solves it."
Mr. Baker has put forward several alternative approaches during his lobbying effort of the past two weeks. The Baker concept is a two-phased resolution in which Iraq would be given a deadline for withdrawal, after which the 25-nation coalition with forces in the region could mount a military offensive.
The United States is pushing for a use-of-force resolution this month while it holds the Security Council's presidency.