Sharpton: Clergy Must Oppose War

NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton said Sunday he plans to meet with the Iraqi ambassador to the United Nations this week and is urging clergy worldwide to help ``avoid bloodshed.''

Sharpton, an activist who is exploring a bid for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, said he would meet with Iraq's Mohammed Aldouri on Monday in New York.

``We will not do anything to undermine the United States, but we clearly would like to see some type of reaching out between moral leaders to try and avert this war,'' Sharpton said on ``Fox News Sunday.''

The U.N. resolution unanimously passed by the Security Council on Friday gives Iraqi President Saddam Hussein seven days to accept the return of weapons inspectors. If Baghdad fails to follow through, U.S. officials said a Pentagon plan calls for more than 200,000 troops to invade Iraq.

The resolution threatens ``serious consequences'' if Saddam does not accept and dismantle Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

Sharpton said he and other clergy may visit Iraq to further their message.

``Clearly there's so much at stake here that we should try anything we could,'' he said.

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