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Britons uneasy on UK troops in Iraq-poll

10 March, 2002 02:33 GMT

LONDON (Reuters) - Any move to use British troops to support U.S.-lead military action against Iraq's Saddam Hussein would meet stiff public opposition, a poll has said.
The survey for the Mail newspaper on Sunday found that 27 percent of Britons would strongly oppose the use of troops in those circumstances, against only 17 percent who strongly supported the idea.

The poll carried out by YouGov among more than 2,000 people also found large sections of the public suspicious of America's international agenda.

Asked if in general they trusted the United States to be the "world's policeman", only four percent said they trusted the U.S. a lot and 24 percent a fair amount. One-third said they trusted Washington only a little, while 38 percent said they trusted the U.S. not at all.

The Observer reported on Sunday that the United States had asked Britain to draw up plans for 25,000 troops to join a task force to overthrow Saddam Hussein. U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is expected in London on Monday for discussions with Blair.

The government said no such request had been made. "No decisions have been taken let alone any requests made," said a spokesman for the Prime Minister's office when asked to comment on the report.

"We stand side by side with the Americans and we're in this for the long haul," a Ministry of Defence spokesman said.

On Saturday, a senior government minister denied suggestions that Blair would face resignations at all levels within his government if Britain joined the United States in taking action against Iraq.



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